Indigo Books & Music

  www.chapters.indigo.ca
  www.chapters.indigo.ca

Indigo Books & Music Reviews in Toronto, ON

Updated September 30, 2014
Updated September 30, 2014
108 Reviews
2.8
108 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • good work environment, not too busy, can take it easy and discover books which I love (in 12 reviews)

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


Cons
  • Most frustrating aspect was the disconnect that the head office had for my store (in 12 reviews)

  • Minimum wage pay for a hopeful 20 hours a week (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

50 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great for a Part-Time Job

    • 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)

    I worked at Indigo Books & Music part-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great if you want a part-time job to gain some retail experience. Nice pace of work, and low expectations for staff and managers. Nobody really cares if you show up and do nothing all day, in fact, it may even go unnoticed.

    Cons

    Trying to move up in the company is almost impossible. The pay is pretty bad in comparison to similar jobs. The management tend to be lazy or untrained. No consistency with work direction in terms of leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Commend your staff for a job well done. Be proactive.

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

    Good place to work, very low pay (minimum) for the knowledge and service expected

    • 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)

    I worked at Indigo Books & Music part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    -great store management (I worked in a semi-downtown Toronto location)
    -employees are not catty as they usually are in other retail stores
    -good work environment, not too busy, can take it easy and discover books which I love
    -always meeting interest people and fellow book lovers
    -manager very good at accomodating time off and vacation
    -leaders recognize your work
    -they are not pushy about sales. in fact they suggest not recommending books you don't know or haven't read about
    -staff are generally knowledgeable and intelligent
    -always many new events and releases happening, so it is not monotonous
    -cash register is very easy to work, the software is very easy to learn (picked it up in less than 10 minutes)
    -great system of being able to loan book that may be too expensive or you wouldn't necessarily want to buy

    Cons

    -irregular shifts
    -super annoying dress code (collar only shirts that make you look aged and outdated)
    -pretty terrible employee discount -- i can get the same rate if I order it online so what's the point??
    -extremely crappy pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall: there can be a ton of great things about a company. However, if the pay is as low as Indigo likes it to be, there will always be a lot of turnover. If you want to retain good employees, try paying them something more than minimum wage. Also, change the collar only shirt policy. It's silly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great brand, great people, but it's amazing anything gets done at head office.

    • 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)

    I have been working at Indigo Books & Music full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Indigo works very hard to create a store experience that customers love, and the result is a strong brand that people are drawn to. The people at head office are also generally strong and good to work with. The office environment is relaxed and friendly, as a rule.

    Cons

    Management is almost entirely day-to-day. Any talk of "long term vision" is lip-service only, and will change. Executive management has no respect for, or interest in, the process of actually implementing change, and causes churn by redefining goals and needs ad hoc. The CEO changes her mind almost hourly, and costs the company enormous amount of money on last-minute direction changes. The Executives do a poor job of shielding their verticals from her interventions (they fear her themselves, as she would not hesitate to replace an agitator - I've seen it many times), and morale and engagement suffer. The company's favourable position is the result of the exploitation of passionate employees and not good management. There's far too much focus on aesthetic concerns, and not enough attention is paid to how things actually operate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognise that Executives are not responsible for actually accomplishing anything - work takes time, planning and people, and saying "do this" isn't what gets it done. Collect information, build a plan and follow through. It doesn't matter how pretty it looks if it's too broken to function.

    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 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)

    I have been working at Indigo Books & Music full-time (more than 5 years)

    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
  6. 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)

    I worked at Indigo Books & Music part-time (more than 3 years)

    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
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    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)

    I worked at Indigo Books & Music part-time (more than 5 years)

    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
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    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)

    I have been working at Indigo Books & Music full-time (more than 5 years)

    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)

    I have been working at Indigo Books & Music part-time (more than an year)

    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)

    I worked at Indigo Books & Music as a contractor (more than an year)

    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. 6 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)

    I have been working at Indigo Books & Music (more than 3 years)

    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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