Footsmart

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Footsmart Reviews

Updated December 6, 2014
Updated December 6, 2014
42 Reviews
1.8
42 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Alan Beychok
15 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Hired on with contract. Left asap

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - SEO Analyst in Atlanta, GA
    Former Contractor - SEO Analyst in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Footsmart as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Company has potential, but they don't seek your potential. I was more qualified than many people around me, worked harder, and was spoken to 2 or 3 times a week by management. I ended up working on the same spreadsheet for OVER 1 MONTH. Mostly young staff eager to work hard.

    Cons

    Management is on a "it's OK, they are just contractors" mind set. If you like women's orthopedic shoes, and want to stare at them 40 hours a week, GO FOR IT! I was recruited to a salary in 1 month and couldn't have been happier.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Worry less about the numbers and more about the people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Footsmart full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    In my years with FootSmart, aka Benchmark Brands, I worked with some wonderful, smart, fun people and gained some great ecomm experience. The plus to continuous turnover, is meeting new people, learning new things, and networking. Compensation is better than average, however the benefits package is costlier than companies of similar size.

    Cons

    Let me first say, I resigned a while ago and wanted some time to process my experience with FootSmart/Benchmark Brands. This is not written in spite, or out of emotion. This is a sincere assessment.

    The biggest challenge to this company is the owner. I have respect for him for building a successful business, however, unlike smart entrepreneurs, he can't get out of the way, and the business will eventually fail because of him. Of course he will blame everyone but himself for this. When he does manage to find competent management (mostly recruited from out of town, as the reputation is widely know, and many local recruiters refuse to work with him), they expect to come in and make changes, as anyone with 20-30 years of experience would expect. Some know the reputation, and proudly say "I'll make some changes". Sometime in the first 30-90 days, you'll see it... the 1000 yard stare on the faces of these individuals, many of whom have left better jobs, uprooted their families, and realize that the company is run by a maniac. Some fight it, some move on. Eventually most are gone one way or another.

    The management that does stay beyond the typical 3-6 months, or has been promoted from within has their own flaws. Some are utterly under-qualified and know nothing of the actual role. The FootSmart environment is one of fear and intimidation, and in some cases retaliation. On a number of occasions, I have seen experienced professionals chastised, berated and treated horribly - driven to tears in meetings.

    The business is in trouble for a number of reasons beyond the owner's management style. 1. Customers are price shopping more than ever - Top brands like Easy Spirit, Merrell, Hush Puppies and Clarks are available everywhere - for cheaper. FootSmart is too small to compete with Zappos and Online Shoes, yet as of this year, the business strategy is to play the price war with range pricing, and markdowns. Anyone with any business sense knows this is a losing battle. 2. Horrible inventory management. Countless best selling items are often out of stock, and many won't get restocked. 3. The shipping process is horrific due to inconsistent contact with the customer, lack of tracking, terrible packaging (though drop ship items are properly packed from the manufacturer). Even as an employee, it would take up to 3 weeks to get an order, and sometimes, when I'd ask where my missing order was i'd get "oh yeah, we are out of those shoes". 4. The owner will tout the proprietary product as a business strategy which makes sense, however, some of the well thought out designs (thanks to a talented product dev group) are doomed due to terrible quality out of China, and damage due to poor shipping practices. 5. As of Nov, 2014, 77% turnover at corporate and 120% turnover in the HR (they call it Talent Asset Management). I have personally seen over 100 people resign or get fired in the last 20 months. Keep in mind this is a company of about 140 corporate staff.

    As for tools to effectively do my job - I had my hands tied. 1. We always had to do more with less. Not a lot of backfill happening, and adding headcount was out of the question. Our typical workload included a number of things that really should have fallen under another departments tasks. 2. My equipment was satisfactory, however, years behind on the software, requiring a learning curve when the time came to move on to another job. 3. Training. That was requested by me and the people I managed, and never were we allowed to have so much as an online resource, let alone attending more formal seminars and conventions.

    I stuck it out longer than I should have. I have thick skin, like many of my coworkers and had hopes we might get bought, or at least gain some positive direction from a competent board of directors. I urge anyone thinking about joining FootSmart/Benchmark Brands to read the reviews here and seriously consider other options.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I wish you would have sold the company a few years ago. Under the right leadership, the possibilities would likely be a bit brighter than they are today.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Really bad place to work...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Norcross, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Norcross, GA

    I worked at Footsmart full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good co-workers. Free lunches because the owner thinks he can buy loyalty and raise morale.

    Cons

    Turnover is incredibly high and management job security is almost non-existent. The owner is a micro manager that never takes responsibility for his decisions. Ideas/projects are dropped midway through completion in order to take on the next big thing. Company is operated under the corporate name Benchmark Brands, so read those reviews as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell the company to someone who knows how to handle a small/midsize company and can successfully bring it to the next level.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't Ever Work Here

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

    I worked at Footsmart full-time

    Pros

    Had the best boss I've ever had working here. Very good at coaching and helping with professional growth. Very smart and helped keep things light which made the days fun. Good camaraderie amongst the "doers" of the company. Learned a number of new things and also learned to work at warp speed to keep up with the insanity.

    Cons

    Extremely demotivating place to work. Most of senior management acts like 5-year-olds pointing fingers at each other to save face instead of working together. Unrealistic expectations of teams based on overwhelming volume of work and not enough people to do it. Top-down management is the worst I've ever seen - he is well on his way to running that company into the ground. NO STRATEGY at all, causing unbelievable amount of churn and wasted effort. CEO is more concerned about getting things updated/created and out to market ASAP instead of making a plan and doing it right. Projects never get completed because too many people are involved. Unprofessional behavior across all levels and between departments. Working at this company honestly felt like being in an emotionally-abusive relationship.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out of the way. Swim in your own lane. Create a strategy and follow it. Make an investment in your people. If you actually cared about the people working for you, maybe the turnover rate might not be 70% and growing. When one person hands in their resignation a day, you might want to wake up and do something different.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Customer Service Rep

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Norcross, GA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Norcross, GA

    I have been working at Footsmart full-time

    Pros

    Got rid of their ridiculous point system - I understand they plan to bring it back.
    Got rid of requiring us to ask permission to go to the restroom.
    Upper Management has made a lot of improvements but I feel like we are slowly slipping back to how it was.

    Cons

    Never know when they will decide to do a shift bid or what parameters you will be scored on. This last shift bid the shift selection process was really shady. This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is a lot going on at this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You hired a great Director.. let him do his job, listen to his suggestions!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Sinking ship

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

    I have been working at Footsmart (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I've worked here for several years and the workers make this an enjoyable place to be. If this company was stable, the amount ofgrowth and knowledge you could learn would be beneficial.

    Cons

    The CEO is clueless. As much as he would like to blame the current "TAM" hr team for the mass exit of people, it's his attitude and lack of respect for the worker bee that is causing this. Majority company's have some layoff which is expected but when you have monthly exits averaging 10 or more a month and current employees desperately looking that's should be a sign to him that it's not because he is relocating to midtown to "attract good people" it's his lack of support and micromanaging and belittling of his employees. You will make do awesome friends while they are here shortly but they went be there long.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The CEO needs to get a clue. When an employee that had been there for more than 4 years which is a record at this company tells you personal the train for leaving is not being valued, listen! Upper management needs to stop being yes men and stand up. This company could and has gone far but now we all sit on the sinking ship daily waiting for the next resignation which will come any minute.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Big mistake. Do not work here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Director in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at Footsmart full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Employees are great. Recruiters are constantly reaching out to Footsmart employees because they know most are desperate to get out. Good alum network because the turnover is so high.

    Cons

    Everything you have read here about the CEO is true. This company is a sinking ship. The strategy is horrible. The work environment is hostile. You will regret the decision to work here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    CEO needs to let his team lead. Step back and see the results.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Would not let my worst enemy take a job at Benchmark

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

    I have been working at Footsmart full-time

    Pros

    You will make some great friends from the bonding experience of everyone trying to survive and escape the worst job of your career.

    Cons

    The reviews you are reading of Benchmark on this website are not of the extreme opinionated employees, these are the opinions of the majority of employees.

    The only reason this company is not rated a negative star number, is because Human Resources and the call center are adding reviews that are not applicable to the remaining corporate departments in Atlanta. Every other department is a sinking ship.

    This is a top down management issue that runs all the way down creating a very negative working environment.

    Benchmark is a privately owned company with a CEO that is extremely irrational with no Board of Directors to balance out his ideas and decisions. His micro managing skills could win national awards. The company’s goals, direction and processes literally change on a weekly basis. He sends all directors and departments on constant one off projects, clean up exercises, and tail spins that prevent everyone from having the time to complete their actual job requirements. The departments that need to be the most integrated are the most disconnected, which creates constant confusion and frustration. The CEO is notorious for calling and emailing employees on the weekends on a regular basis to work on projects. Directors have asked employees to work 12 hour days to get the job done

    Turnover is extremely high and finger pointing is a must have skill to not get pushed out, “restructured” or fired. No real training, high turnover, restructures and lack of processes contribute to the overall negative work environment. The day you start at BMB you will have about 3 months of work to catch up on because the person before you likely was given 2 jobs to complete after a restructure, and your coworkers will barely have the time to train you because they are also now covering 2 positions. There have been 3 “restructures” in 2014. 4 Directors have resigned or been let go in 2014.

    If you are interviewing with this company, please take the time to research, ask around, and ask the appropriate questions about training, turnover, and culture so that you do not walk into this situation blind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please refrain from continuing to throw other departments and your own direct reports under the bus to keep your own job. Stand up to the CEO or get out of the way and let someone else do it. You are ruining a lot of careers just to save your own.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Do not work here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Norcross, GA
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Norcross, GA

    I have been working at Footsmart full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    If you like working overtime to make a decent salary then this is the place to be.

    Cons

    This is the most unorganized place I have ever worked. The supervisors sit around and talk about food, their social lives and movies instead of helping the angry customer that are unsatisfied on the phones. Their answer is to do a print screen and someone will get back to them in 24-48 hours. That usually never happens. No one follows any company policies and you have a help desk that has all the work put on them but can't help. The warehouse sends out wrong shoes, orders to the wrong people, doesn't credit returns and is very hard to get in touch with. This company does not care about their customer. They do not care about employees even thought they buy lunch for them every Thursday before payday, they should put that towards raises once a year, to work all year be told your are an exceptional worker and then get 13 cents as a raise is wrong . All they care about is money they make from the customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Re-structure

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Where your career goes to die...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Norcross, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Norcross, GA

    I worked at Footsmart full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    People that aren't in upper management positions are great. Summer hours are nice (until the CEO walks around with a piece of paper fussing and cursing when someone isn't in their chair)

    Cons

    CEO is a loose cannon. He lacks focus and people skills. The company has a revolving door in HR (TAM as they like to call it). The overall corporate turn is embarrassing. People live in fear of "who's next" when it comes to mass layoffs or "your position has been eliminated" conversations. There is constant restructuring due to employee turn and lack of people to do the job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up! The company is falling apart. You've got highly skilled employees who are treated like they are morons. Listen to what they are saying - footsmart (aka benchmark brands) is not a great place to work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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