There are newer employer reviews for Spencer Gifts

1 person found this helpful  

Good Rewards, But Just Not Worth the Headache

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Assistant Manager
Current Employee - Assistant Manager

I have been working at Spencer Gifts full-time for more than a year

Pros

*Health and PTO Benefits. For ASM's and SM's it's pretty decent (1 week vacation after 6 mos, 2 weeks after a yr, and so on, sick hours accrue at 4-6 hrs a month, full medical/dental/vision after 60 days)

*Work/life balance. Expect to be working a lot when you're there, but when you want time off, you 90% have it. I'm a total concert junkie and never had to fight for get a night off to go to a show, and when I needed some emergency time off to care for a sick relative, I got it, no questions asked.

*Awesome co-workers, for the most part. No professional judgement on looks, professional judgement is really based on how you do your job and get things done.

*Laid back atmosphere, no suit-and-tie business. Focus is on the guest, and one usually gets decent music to rock out to. They even incorporate music suggestions from store associates into their music blocks, often within a day or so.

Cons

*Promotions/advancements seem to be based on politics much more than how you can perform your job and run the store and often never happen, despite how many "development plans" you go through and meet competency at.

*Upper-level management micro-manage stores and allow for almost no improvisation. At my particular location, our corporate office "partners" often watch us on our closed-circuit television surveillance systems and knit-pick the store, and us, to pieces.

*Sales culture and loss prevention culture is intense. If you're not making daily sales plan, you WILL hear about it. Often in not very nice ways from DSM's. Pretty unsympathetic to the fact that every month they carry less and less innovative product tied to today's culture scene. Same thing with shoplifting apprehensions. DSM's want to see numbers, especially if your store inventory shrink is less than company norm (which lowers drastically every year), even though managers get little training on confronting and handling shoplifters other than "request the product back, if they cause problems, ask them to leave." Luckily for me, I spent quite a few years as a professional store detective, so handling apprehensions is second nature to me. For associates and managers with no background or exposure to shoplifting incidents, it can be very nerve racking (I've had my manager try to stop a guy who concealed almost $100 worth of product in a jacket WALK AWAY when a customer asked him about a refund. We had 3 other supervisors present who could've handled that request, customer stupidity as to the situation unfolding notwithstanding).

*A LOT of Home Office disorganization. Some days it's like the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. A manager will receive instruction about doing floor moves one way, then get a follow-up email within a few hours stating that Home Office people in charge decided to do it another way and you get to play Legos and put it together differently than originally instructed.

*Excessive multi-tasking with too little payroll. Managers and supervisors essentially have to run the stores by themselves most of the day, and do every little task Home Office decides needs to be done that day, all the while be #1 sales professional and #1 shoplifting extraordinare.

*Environment is a little too PC sometimes (especially for a place that sells sex toys and other unconventional goods), and if you get on the wrong end of a guest or fellow co-worker, they can make sure to try for your employment by filing bogus HR complaints. Meanwhile Store Managers who clearly violate sexual harassment policies aren't even investigated, much less disciplined.

*Assistants and Sales Supervisors often get part-time style hours and full-time salaried management responsibilities. Assistants normally get 32 hrs/week max, and if you get more, you're having a good week. Sales Supervisors only get 20ish. Sales Associates get hosed even worse, only getting about 8 per week at minimum wage.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Honestly, stop being stingy on payroll. If Sales Supervisors and Assistant Managers were treated more like full-time store management (such as getting more in the way of full-time hours, responsibility, and Store Manager perks, like bonuses) they'd probably feel more invested in their positions as well as the store's overall financial outcome every year.

Same thing with Sales Associates. If they received financial incentives (like RAISES) and steadier hours for their work, you could probably attract, retain and develop better talent to work and ultimately move up the ladder. If you want people to make sales, it helps having them in the store to do it. Seen plenty of customers just leave because there were a lot of other guests and two associates running around like chickens with the heads cut off trying to help them all.

A litte less micro-management and a lot more organization from field management and Home Office would do wonders. And if you really want shoplifting apprehensions, either A) outsource detectives from third party private security firms with those services, or B) actually create your own in-house loss prevention department, like many retailers do. Having a one-man-army of managers and associates is ludicrious.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

170 Other Employee Reviews for Spencer Gifts (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    You will work yourself to death, and will not be paid or rewarded accordingly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Former Employee - Store Manager

    I worked at Spencer Gifts full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    -Great employees that can become great friends
    -Decent discount
    -Flexible dress code, just no open-toed shoes
    -Flexible hours for sales associates only, management, not so much.

    Cons

    1) Sales associates will not be paid for the work that they do. They only get minimum wage, regardless of their length of employment with the company. I have sales associates that have been with me for 5 years, who still only make minimum wage.
        - They are not trusted to use keys to the jewelry cases, even if you're standing there watching their every move.
        - They are not allowed to process any returns, exchanges, or take an item off of someone's transaction, even if it was just a double scanned item.
        - If and when they are rewarded, Spencer's sends them a $25 Spencer's gift card, so they are basically forced to put their hard earned reward directly into the pocket of the company.
    2) Sales supervisors are basically a glorified sales associate, the only difference is they may be lucky to make $.50 an hour more than a sales associate, however, they are given a pretty heavy work load.
    3) Assistant Managers are basically expected to do the job of the store manager, but at a low pay rate. They are responsible for making sure that the sales associates are doing what they are supposed to be doing, but aren't taken serious by upper management when they call or email them to explain the situation.
    4) Store managers are expected to work 44 hours a week minimum, but since you're working on a pathetic salary, you can very easily be forced into working 50+ in order to make sure that every single project is completed 100%.
         - Creates the schedules, which is tough since the payroll budget is next to nothing, which in the end forces the store manager to work extra hours that they won't receive overtime pay for, because they can't afford for the rest of the associates to work.
          - Has to stay in direct contact with upper management when its convenient for them, but when you need support from upper management, you will be lucky to hear back within a week. PN's are pointless since after 30 days, they aren't valid, and it takes about 2-4 weeks sometimes to get wording for a performance notice since they can't just trust the store manager to say "hey, you messed up, you're fired".

     We are constantly having to be on our toes since corporate likes to watch the cameras and email us when we take too long at the register. The company has a theory that "we keep the trend going" when in a month they're making us mark it down, and eventually destroy it and throw it away. Poor tech support. The push events that we are required to participate in (including wearing uncomfortable mouth pieces that light up).

    They don't even trust employees that have been there for years. They are required to carry a clear bag, and if you bring a lunch, you can't bring a lunch box because you might put stolen merchandise inside of it. You are also required to show the contents of your pockets, jackets, and lift your pant legs in order to make sure there is no stolen merchandise inside of your socks. Any concealed cup, such as a Starbucks cup has to be opened as well. Imagine how humiliating this is when you have to do it in front of a group of customers about to walk in. Upper management, however, are allowed to bring backpacks, briefcases, purses, etc.

    The kids that come into the store will steal from you the second they see you're busy, and usually working alone. They are disrespectful, and you can't throw them out because "they could be potential customers".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees for what they're worth. Reward them with rewards that are actually appealing, not a gift card for the company they work for. Also, make sure that your upper management is being consistent with policies. Don't set a policy and then allow it to be broken to avoid a customer complaint. Handle situations that the employees are asking for help on in a timely manner. Allow your employees some dignity, and allow them to be able to carry their personal belongings in a tote bag, back pack, etc., but keep the bag check policy in place. Give more payroll for stores to schedule properly so nobody is worn out. Allow ID checks on adult items. Switch up the music; the Jack and Nikki today don't want to hear the same old songs, and neither do the employees. Out with the old, in with new.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Fun to work, too much expectations for sales associates

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Floor Sales Associate  in  Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Floor Sales Associate in Miami, FL

    I have been working at Spencer Gifts part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Very fun environment, If your young you would really enjoy your customers. I enjoy that customers are our main priority. You have a small staff so you feel like family at times.

    Cons

    Too much work for minimum wage. The random change of shifts gets annoying, and the job could be more professional at times.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Spencer Gifts

Worked for Spencer Gifts? Contribute to the Community!

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