New Seasons Market
3.6 of 5 32 reviews
www.newseasonsmarket.com Portland, OR 500 to 999 Employees

New Seasons Market Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014

Be The First To
Add Photos

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 32 reviews

                             

43% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Wendy Collie

(7 ratings)

76% of employees recommend this company to a friend
32 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Free-form yet accountable culture led to major pros, cons

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsI should preface all this by noting that the company culture seemed to be undergoing a major shift as I was leaving (thanks mainly to new ownership), and from what I hear this has continued over the past year.

    While I was there, the biggest advantage over similar grocery companies was that NSM treated its employees like adults. I felt trusted to understand and solve problems on my own, without a hovering supervisor or a gospel rulebook. This is possible in part because they hire great employees (it's a competitive job market full of underemployed smart people), which also makes breakroom chats and after-work drinks fun and stimulating. I also liked that I was encouraged to form relationships with customers and try to get them what they needed, as opposed to serving as many people as possible and upselling at every opportunity. Grocery work is repetitive and brainless, but these things made it as bearable as possible.

    ConsThe looser management structure resulted in major differences between departments. Some were well-managed, with rotating schedules and time off, quick attention to any interpersonal conflicts, and involved training for those employees that wanted to move up. Others (mine) were saddled with complacent and unskilled middle managers, built-up resentments between long-term employees that let to petty conflicts, and little interest in personnel development - for them, it was simpler to let the same people work undesirable shifts and complete heavier physical work until they inevitably quit, at which point they were just replaced. Upper management never stepped in with more than a token statement.

    At the same time, attempts to address this via heavier oversight (as, again, was happening when I left) felt clumsy and overbearing. It's an incredibly difficult balance to strike, but they seemed to be sacrificing the freewheeling and casual culture that made "the friendliest store in town" more than a trite slogan, and replacing it with a rigidity that didn't even weed out the worst elements. Still, much better than a place like Safeway that wouldn't bother making an effort on any of these issues.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry to innovate in how you manage company culture - the more bottom-up, the better. Ask longtime employees, not outside consultants (or just ask both!). The pay restructuring that left me with one 40-cent raise in 2 years frankly left me feeling extremely undervalued.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    No longer a company that values their employees. CEO is from Starbucks.

    Operations (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsNew Seasons has many great employees to work with at the store level. Great benefits, profit share (taxed) and 401K program. When products and Produce cannot be sold to customers, there is a "Blue Slip" program that allows you to take advantage of a lot of free food.

    ConsThere is a HUGE separation from higher ups to the actual store level workers. The bonuses awarded to Merchandisers are in the 4 and 5 digits where the actual store level employees receive anywhere from $75 to $550 depending on years worked there and hours worked in the past quarter.
    Once a person becomes a manager, they are free to abuse their positions without any serious repercussions and are given carte blanche when handling their departments and mishandling their staff. They pay their store level employees very poorly and the wage increases are miniscule. People are not being promoted from within anymore and, instead, outside people are being brought in from very corporate environments, i.e. Starbucks and even Monsanto.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay your staff better and promote from within. Begin a tuition reimbursement program. Stop cutting labor so that everyone is unhappy, stressed and spread way too thin. Central kitchen is a disaster and our food quality has deteriorated to the point that staff and customers complain. Merchandisers and Managers of certain departments are dropping like flies and there is NO transparency anymore. And start admitting that you have gone completely corporate, Wendy Collie. Just because you may have been a cheerleader in your youth does not mean you have what it takes as a leader for what once was an awesome place to work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Not the company it used to be!

    Assistant Department Manager (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsDecent pay, decent benefits. staff are great; like an extended family. staff discount. "profit share"

    ConsLimited advancement opportunities. upper management is growing too much, with many redundant positions. company claims "we promote from within"; not true. many of the newly-created and current management positions are filled by people hired from external sources, such as Starbucks, Haggen, etc. Company values have changed over the years. claimed that customer service is primary goal, yet stores are not staffed adequately to provide this goal. no longer a "local" company, now having acquired a chain in California. too much growth over the years. wages are not at levels comparable to other grocery retailers. if there are no unions, pay should still be commensurate with union jobs. PR about the company and how it is to work here has done a good job; the public and many staff are lulled into believing that the company believes in a local food economy and in providing a great working environment, when the true motive is $$$. have been told by food service that ingredients used in food production used to be organic when possible, now it's the cheapest available.

    Advice to Senior Managementquit building new stores before current stores are at maximum capacity. actually promote from within. reward employees for extended service to the company. staff according to customer service expectations. management structure within stores is changing to more work from less people, which will negatively affect customer service, while being told customer service is the reason for the change. have staff/management at store support level actually work in the stores on occasion (once a week or so), to actually see first-hand what it is like to work in the stores and provide quality customer service (which can be quite difficult and exhausting). rewind six or more years to when the company actually believed in what it claimed and quit expanding like you want to take over the world. we are not Whole Foods, nor do we want to be.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
  • We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           

     

    Great Work Environment

    Courtesy Clerk (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsNew Seasons really gets customer service and they staff their stores with that in mind.

    ConsCompetition for advancement is pretty stiff, with the company growing every year and becoming more and more popular to potential employees. Sometimes employees with a great track record and a long time of service get overlooked for advancement.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEnsuring loyalty is awarded by advancing those who have been with the company longest and maintain the companies ideals should be a top priority.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

     

    One Of The Best Retailers To Work For In The Industry

    Department Manager (Current Employee)

    ProsFair pay, good benefits, affordable health care, free food, profit sharing, 20% discount, opportunity for advancement, training opportunities, paid volunteer hours, very fair scheduling practices for a retailer, growing company, supportive of gay, lesbian and transgender staff, and overall a fun place to work.

    ConsVery few cons compared to other retailers. One that comes to mind is that the company is growing quickly and the culture is changing some.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't let the culture change too much.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Unprofessional

    NONE (Current Employee)
    Happy Valley, OR

    ProsOk discount, schedule is good, benefits are ok. There is room for professional growth.

    ConsTo many staff members that think it's ok to not work and no one is held accountable for any expectations and when good managers do have expectations and try to hold people accountable they are told they don't fit the company culture.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSupport your managers

    – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    They treat employees wonderfully

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsGreat benefits, employee discount, lots of free day old food and produce culls, volunteer opportunities, working with great people

    ConsSome jobs pay great, others pay poorly, the wage scale is a little off. The company is getting bigger and a little top heavy, with a lot of degree holders that don't seem to have any real grocery store experience, so they are a little out of touch. We have awesome employees who could do these jobs! Hire from within! Bigger does not always make better.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAs we grow, labor gets decreased. We are known for our customer service, and it seems to be suffering because we are pulled in too many directions. Also, store mangers are never in the store anymore, always in meetings. Less talk, more action!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Not what they seem

    Courtesy Clerk (Former Employee)

    ProsCustomers are wonderful, and NSM allows you to serve them well -- freebies, chatting -- so that's fun. Training is thorough, and they usually give you enough hours, and take your preferred schedule into account. You get a great discount on food at any of the stores. It's hard in the winter because it's cold outside and inside! If you stay a while, there are internal job postings, so you could eventually become a buyer or department manager.

    ConsGossip is rampant, and not even true. People who worked there a long time viewed many of the staff as backstabbers, and I'd have to agree. There's a lot of hypocrisy -- for example, NSM is a great community recycling place, but the managers don't even recycle the basics, and if you say anything, they'll tell you to volunteer on your own time. The reason they can keep opening a lot of new stores is because they pay their workers really low wages to keep their profits high. Starting wage is barely above minimum (which hasn't kept pace with the cost of living at all). You never get a consistent schedule and sometimes you don't know until a few days before, so it's hard to plan any events. NSM is a corporate chain, follows the industrial model. Strangely, from an internal perspective, the customers don't actually come first; favored employees are encouraged to gossip so much that there's a sense of institutionalized unfairness.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay fair labor prices, that's about $13 an hour. Be honest with employees. Walk your talk. Notice when honest employees work hard and serve customers, which is what you say you want. Stop raving about growth as though it's good for all of us when actually your growth is on the backs of the lowest paid employees creating customer loyalty for you.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

     

    A friendly place to work!

    Store Service Manager (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsGreat work environment, supportive staff, great product selection, lots of opportunity for growth...

    Conssome disconnect between store support and staff, need for increased organization of systems

    Advice to Senior Managementcontinue to build strong relationships with staff, make changes thoughtfully and continue to encourage staff feedback constructively

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    So-So

    Deli Service Manager (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsThe people are the best. As in the people I work with every day and our customers
    Benefits are good. 401k and profit share. $30 for dinner on your b-day are great. Free food and 20% off is great.

    ConsThe company as a whole is changing. More management hired who have never worked in grocery. Four new stores in 18 months equals too much stress on currant stores! Ala Williams

    Advice to Senior ManagementSlow down to one store opening per year!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for New Seasons Market? Contribute to the Community!

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

Glassdoor is your free inside look at New Seasons Market reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for New Seasons Market CEO Wendy Collie. All 32 reviews posted anonymously by New Seasons Market employees.