Books-A-Million

www.booksamillion.com
There are newer employer reviews for Books-A-Million

1 person found this helpful  

Come for the coffee and friends, leave for the books. And everything else.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Bookseller/Barista in East Birmingham, AL
Current Employee - Bookseller/Barista in East Birmingham, AL

I have been working at Books-A-Million part-time (less than an year)

Pros

The book checkout program.

Most of my co-workers and store-level managers are great people; I've made a lot of friends working for BAM.

My regular customers in the cafe.

Willing to work with student schedules.

Generally, a lot of hours are available, if you want to work... but not full time.

Cons

Books a Million is a failing business model, and I think everyone involved can smell the smelly smell of it's impending doom.

The management, (district management and up) is clueless and egotistical. It's almost as if they bought a copy of How to Run a Business for Dummies, and decided that every page was holy gospel written by a combination of Jesus and Sam Walton.

The employee discount is insulting. Even on paydays where we get 30% off, it's STILL cheaper to order off Amazon AND pay for shipping.

Instead of focusing on offering a pleasant customer experience, a nicely decorated store, warm coffee atmosphere, etc, all they care about is selling the discount cards and the complete and utter scam that is the magazine subscriptions.

Customers are seriously expected to throw down $20 ( ! ) to get a 10% discount, online shipping, and wi-fi.... you read that right, PAYING for wi-fi. You can go to McDonald's, Starbucks, even Krystal and get it for free; how is that a BENEFIT of membership? Shipping on Amazon is FREE if you have patience and the least bit of planning skills.

We also sell Nooks, which is money in the bank of Barnes and Noble. Why? God only knows. I have no words for this. None.

Almost no one gets to work full time, and there are no raises. Small bonuses are given for every card and magazine sold AFTER the store makes it's goals. I prefer to focus on being nice to customers, making quality coffee, and getting my extra money through tips (an extra $10 a day, easily. Making $10 a day selling cards is a *complete* impossibility, especially in the cafe).

If sales are down, the DM starts hanging store gift cards in our faces, like little carrots to hungry horses. Unappetizing, moldy carrots. It's hard to complain about free gift cards, but let me try... if they want to increase sales, try offering something of actual value, like, real money. For someone making $7.25 an hour and BARELY scraping out the rent and utilities for each month, I need cash. My landlord does not accept the latest James Patterson novel, cupcakes, or Angry Birds frou frou, As long as they let us check out books for free, gift cards are completely unnecessary. I personally feel my intelligence being insulted as if management thinks they're pulling one over on me and the other employees.

Also, the cafe is treated like an unwanted stepchild. In the era of online shopping, the cafe should be one of the top 3 priorities of each store, because that's the one thing we can offer that Amazon or eBay can't. However, very few people in leadership seem to understand this. The decor looks like it was purchased wholesale from a store that specializes in unwanted garbage from the 1990's.

 Instead of offering locally made baked goods, we truck them in frozen and months old from somewhere near Atlanta. The label says Cheesecake Factory. The taste says otherwise. Waste is rampant.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

STREAMLINE! CUT WASTE! Cut out about half of the book selection, the unpopular baked goods, etc. There has to be over a million dollars of inventory in each store that will NEVER sell. Start offering better sale prices; Amazon has us WHIPPED on both price and selection... severely.

FORGET ABOUT MAGAZINES. I handle about a call a week from a severely exasperated customer who has been completely unable to cancel their subscription, forcing me to personally call the scam company, provide them with evidence that I work for BAM, and only then is there a chance that the customer's subscription will in fact be cancelled.

The cafe, as is, is not enough to serve as a reason to visit the store, and it certainly doesn't make up for ripoff prices and a high pressure sales atmosphere that neither employee nor customer enjoy in the least.

Have smaller, more efficient stores. So much electricity and lighting goes to waste keeping the unsold and overpriced inventory warm and dry until we ship it off to destinations unknown.

Focus on hiring people that genuinely like the cafe AND books.

My final advice to management is to start viewing your employees as human beings and decent, functional, intelligent, and rational members of society. And do the same for customers.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

461 Other Employee Reviews for Books-A-Million (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1.  

    It's a job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in New Bern, NC
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in New Bern, NC

    I worked at Books-A-Million full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Lending Library, contact with customers and coworkers, learning to make coffee beverages, learning little bits of the publishing companies

    Cons

    selling membership cards, contact with customers, reorganizing the chaos of the shelves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Some of the worst Bureaucratic, terrible management in the business.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Barista/Bookseller in Hoover, AL
    Former Employee - Barista/Bookseller in Hoover, AL

    I worked at Books-A-Million part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    As a barista, I found BAM's coffee and equipment to be top-notch. That's about the start and end of good things about this company.

    Cons

    Terrible, high-pressure work environment.
    A doomed business model that will never change
    Emotional, irrational employees (at multiple locations)
    High prices and gimmicky product offerings
    Lack of transparency regarding pay, paltry rewards for succeeding at defined tasks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop selling cards. Start selling the bookstore experience. You're losing to B&N (not to mention amazon) for a reason. BAM's days are numbered, and it only takes working there a couple months to figure out why.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Books-A-Million

Work at Books-A-Million? Share Your Experiences

Books-A-Million

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.