Indigo Books & Music

  www.chapters.indigo.ca
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Indigo Books & Music Reviews in Canada

Updated August 17, 2014
Updated August 17, 2014
102 Reviews

2.7
102 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Indigo Books & Music Chairman and CEO Heather M. Reisman
Heather M. Reisman
72 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Nice work environment, excellent location in the trendy King W area of downtown Toronto (in 11 reviews)

  • Company culture is great; work/life balance, creative people, well-travelled, easy going (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Head office has the attention span of a goldfish -- constantly aimlessly changing priorities (in 9 reviews)

  • extremely low pay, like minimum wage low (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

91 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    This is a great comany thaat is doing lots of things right and moving in the right direction

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

    Pros

    Great company and values, pay is reasonable for work required. Lots of great peers in the region in which I work. Great product to sell in the stores

    Cons

    A real swing in the hours required from really early morning to late at night. Gm is poorly trained and ill suited to the role.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Changes that are taking pleace are for the betterment of the company, but are sometimes implemented withouit clear direction ofr instruction

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Expect the world for no pay.

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

    Pros

    Great front line staff. Get to work with books. Thirty percent discount on books. Usually in easy to get to locations.

    Cons

    Head Office expects an insane amount of work from minimum wage, part time employees. Huge disconnect between CEO and rest of company. Little to no room for advancement, as head office fills higher positions with outside applicants. Toxic work environment that is mandated by head office (I was told by my Regional Director to rate my employees and cut the hours of the lowest ranked employee so that they would quit, even though they were a great worker) Constant, poorly - implemented company direction changes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Review your middle management employees, so micro managing all store managers, pay employees enough money to live off of, promote your senior CER's, if you want to save your company treat your CER'S like people, they are your face and the people who actually make money for the company.

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

    Great co-workers but poor management and Home Office leadership.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Experience Representative  in  Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Customer Experience Representative in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    Pros

    I met some fantastic and competent co-workers there who have since become good friends of mine. 30% dicount off of books and other discounts on gifts and such. Borrow a book program and some other small initiatives are a few little perks, although they diminished over the time I was there. Staff was often times much more competant and savy then the managers.

    Cons

    Poor leadership, poor decision making, no respect given to the cers. Also, no security; staff (including myself) had many altercations with disturbed individuals with no security to call upon for aid, we were expected to handle it ourselves (with no extra compensation). Late work scheduling, often times you only knew when you were working at the start of the work week.
    If certain staff were responsible for an increase in sales in a paticular area it was barely acknowledged other then a pat on the back.
    Management bent over backwards to please customers even at the expense to the store and also shifting store policy (what's the use of having a policy if all one has to do is complain a couple of times to have it changed), all in fear of being reprimanded from Home Office.
    Non-competitive pay, unsustainable, No full time positions unless you are in receiving. the company would rather hire more part-time workers, dedicate time and money to train them then give experienced personal more hours thus not experiencing a drop in customer service quality. very little chance for 'climbing the ladder.' Constant micro-managing and poor communication between managers, would often be told one thing only to have another manager counteract and tell you to do your task another way.
    Bad stagnant music selection

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your CERs. Listen to them. The best days of business we had was when the floor managers were hid away in their office and the CERs ran the store. Home Office employees need to do a 40 hour work week (at no expense to the store) so you can remember just how a store is run and what would work and what clearly doesn't as far as new policies and initatives go. Offer full time positions to your most hard working staff who want to give you good service. You can't expect top performance with the low wages and incentives you offer, it's unrealistic. Especially with the new changes you are implementing. I have seen the list of enhanced expectations for the hiring program in the upcoming year though you still won't raise saleries. You demand too much and give back too little.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Worked for Indigo for several years until I just couldn't take it anymore

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Experience Representative  in  Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Customer Experience Representative in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    Pros

    flexible hours, good job for high school student looking for minimum wage.

    Cons

    There is limited room to move up in the company if any room at all, the most money you will make will be minimum wage after 7 years i got a $1.25 raise when taking inflation into account, hierarchy way of working where head office employees think that they are better than you in every possible way, several years ago the company was quite generous with ithanksyous and recognition of staff, they no longer recognize employees and after working parttime for 7 years I did not even get a goodbye from anyone in the company despite having made friends there and always being a team player, they do not recognize or give any raises for working there for even more than 5 years, they only care about sales and making more money than they made last year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You should consider that without employees such as cers at the retail level you will not have a good sales revenuer or any sales revenue at all so just appreciate employees and make them feel like more than a number and after several years of working there I can see the company is going downhill every year it gets worse and more people are laid off, the company is giving less money for christmas parties (we actually had to pay for part of our meal at christmas cause it wasn't enough money for the whole staff), the company does not recognize loyalty and hard work after several years of service, the company will sometimes force you to work overnight shifts to complete inventory or move stores for renovation purposes and you will be working overnight for more than 8 hours with zero premium given, often times i went above and beyond what my job description was as a cer and worked as part of a team in which i got along perfectly with everyone and on my last day I did not even get a card or so much as a goodbye from some of the employees working for me, i felt like a pile of garbage being thrown away and no one cared. No one at the company ever seemed to care for anything, if i was sick i had to come in if no one could take the shift, many times i forced myself to go to work sick, many times I would have personal things going on that I needed to deal with but was forced to come in still with zero sympathy from management, even on severe weather days I had to come in and risked my life to make it to a minimum wage job. Despite enjoying books and enjoying working with nice people I had to quit because I just couldn't take this company anymore and its unfair and poorly managed ways. My only regret is not leaving sooner.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Some great people, full of passion and enthusiasm.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    Pros

    Good salaries, good benefits, lots of perks - co workers among the best I've ever worked with - fun, stimulating and they make you want to come in each morning.

    Cons

    Morale is horrible. Senior executives get ground down; high staff turnover and continual downsizings. Folks are doubling up and tripling up jobs as those downsized or quit are not replaced. Burnout is inevitable. Favouritism is rampant. The CEO is a legend in her own mind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on the morale problems, stop paying lip service to it; trim the fat in HR as it has become a bloated untrustworthy team; stop the downsizings; repair the company's reputation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    A struggling company without direction

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

    Pros

    The CER's are competent and well-read.

    The products are interesting, often unique.

    You receive 30% off most items and there is a book borrowing system in place.

    Cons

    There are no full time positions for CER's and shifts are often 3-4 hours long. No room to move up as they hire from outside the company. Minimum wage pay for a hopeful 20 hours a week.

    EXTREMELY high expectations. every HOUR, is about making more money and having higher numbers than the year before. There is constant pressure from the management team to do better, despite already always doing your best. Micromanagement is constant and makes the job stressful despite the relaxed setting with laid back customers.

    Seniority and experience does not buy you respect here, despite the overwhelming competence among front-line staff. There is a disconnect between the management team and the CERs. Favoritism is plentiful.

    The environmental impact of this company astounds me. Gift products are individually shipped in 3-4 layers of plastic. They rip up hundreds of books per store, per week, in the back rooms, while out front they fundraise for school libraries. I feel shame for the company with the tear of every spine.

    The company does not know itself. Branding is inconsistent, as well as policies and values which are constantly changing with little direction. It feels like a battle to stay above water at this point.

    You will never see Heather or anyone from head office. They will never know your name.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    TRUST IN YOUR EXPERIENCED FRONT LINE STAFF. Promote us. Listen to us. Respect us. Managers brought in from the outside do not understand the company like we do! We know what sells because we sell it. We know how to deal with customers and employees because that's our job. We know the brand because we are the brand. We are not your minions to be belittled and degraded by minimum pay and the general disrespect of our intelligence and work ethic.

    Understand that CERS are consistently doing their best and that we do not need hourly lectures on increasing UPT or the average transaction. We do nothing differently hour to hour (always do our best)- the fluctuation is simply NATURAL. And for goodness sake, stop talking about the numbers in front of customers! it is uncomfortable for everyone and reflects poorly on Indigo.

    Evaluate your shipping and packing processes to find a more environmentally sound system. Purses and scarves do not need 3 layers of plastic. They don't need any plastic. And stop ripping up books. Start a donation program or have the stores arrange donations locally but ripping them up should not be an option.

    Stop changing your direction. Stop changing your values. Stop changing your brand. Find a core position and stick with it because you're confusing customers and employees and losing us, quite honestly.

    Put the focus back on books and find new ways to promote literature instead of selling nail polish.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    High Stress, Low Pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Experience Manager  in  Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Customer Experience Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    Pros

    My colleagues are wonderful and caring though frequent turnover means that can change at any time. Store employees can borrow books to read for free (though this hardly compensates for the cons).

    Cons

    No work-life balance, lots of unpaid overtime, low salary, no chance of moving to Home Office as all those positions are filled externally, often feels like Home Office has no idea how their decisions impact us, they change their minds on an hourly basis and roll out new programs before they're ready or right at Christmas (disastrous), supply chain is poorly managed: receiving is stuffed to the rafters but not with products we need (we're usually way too low on fast-moving product), field staff are not listened to even (on rare occasion) when asked for their opinions, communication is poor and there is no planning (e.g. you're told that you're required to attend training two days beforehand), money is spent on new technology that doesn't work but we can't afford to actually staff the store because we have way too few labour hours (I only ever have 2-3 employees on the floor in a large format store - not nearly enough), Heather is a flake and manages the company on whims and fads - on store visits her directions are immediately countermanded by her entourage the second she walks away, when you follow policy and refuse to do something ridiculous for a customer (a return from a year ago on something we no longer carry for example) you later get in trouble for it and have to do it anyway meaning all the retail leadership now lets customers do whatever they want for fear of being reprimanded. To add insult to injury the store music that we listen to day in and day out is annoying and never changed making me want to bludgeon myself silly on a regular basis.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Home Office employees of all levels should have to spend more time in the stores, preferably working as CERs, in order that they should better understand how what they do impacts us and the customer experience. It is not humanly possible to do everything you want done with the labour hours you give us and the result is that more of us are burning out and leaving (that's why retail leadership turnover is highest I've ever seen it in almost 7 years). I want to love this company again but I can't (it's not me; it's you) and I think we're going to have to break up because this relationship is dysfunctional.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Inconsistent, disorganized

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Experience Representative  in  Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Customer Experience Representative in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    Pros

    Really great coworkers. Generally a professional but relaxed attitude amongst the whole team (excluding managers). Everyone is well-read and interesting. 30% off discount is OK. Rare company events. Gift card rewards every quarter. Friendly customers.

    Cons

    IN STORE: Poor compensation. CERs are expected to handle management decisions while getting paid like dirt. One of my managers said to me, "You'd be surprised how little work we get done in the manager's office on a day-to-day basis," and I fully believe it. Managers are inconsistent with their decisions and communications with the team and treat senior CERs with little to no respect. Unprofessional attitude when handling conflicts. If managers make a mistake, they will do everything can to shift the blame onto the CERs, especially in front of customers, to make themselves look good. Unkept promises of sales incentives. (Note that this review does not apply to all managers. There are the rare exceptions—I've had the pleasure of working with two—who have been excellent at their positions. But two competent managers out of the eight or nine I've worked with altogether is not ideal.)

    HOME OFFICE: Disorganized company. Heather's executive team treats workers like personal assistants, telling them to clean up their garbage and throw out their Starbucks, constantly leaving messes everywhere. Whenever executives come in they are very rude to customers and we, the CERs, are expected to apologize for it. Poor loss prevention tactics. No opportunities to work up the ladder.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I had always wanted to work at Indigo. I was so happy when I started working here, but the company has demonstrated nothing but pathetic organization of the company and mistreatment of staff, especially at the hands of its CEMs, and my view of Indigo has forever changed for the worse. I honestly cannot wait to quit this place once I am finished school. I would never want to work for Indigo ever again after this stint.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    A Great company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Analyst  in  Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Analyst in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    Pros

    Work life balance is great. Casual Environment. Challenging projects

    Cons

    Compensation is a bit on the lower side

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Brand Reputation - V. Poor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Confidential  in  Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Confidential in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    Pros

    Wonderful people.The company has a good vision and growth strategy. Support for literature and love of reading is a solid foundation for the business and the community's where it operates.

    Cons

    Lost their way during transformation. Lack of executive HR leadership at head office is the main reason. If you stand up to leadership it gets you fired. Wonder why they have the worst engagement in the company?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Time for a leadership change, the current regime is corrupt, just ask anyone who works in HR

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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