Northern Tool + Equipment Reviews

Updated August 8, 2015
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4.0
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Donald L. Kotula
8 Ratings

Pros
  • They offered great opportunities for a work-life balance with half days every other Friday (in 5 reviews)

  • One of these core values is to HAVE FUN (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Management is stuck in the mire of old school thinking (in 2 reviews)

  • Can't get benefits as a part time employee and stores are so small that if someone is sick or fired (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

13 Employee Reviews

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  1. Sales

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Straight forward typical retail position.

    Cons

    No where to move up to. Commission is lousy.


  2. Good Start for Sales and Customer Service!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Inbound Sales Representative in Pequot Lakes, MN
    Former Employee - Inbound Sales Representative in Pequot Lakes, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northern Tool + Equipment full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great co-workers, monthly prizes for reaching sales goals, daily giveaways, overall a warm atmosphere and great place to work especially when first starting out in the sales industry. In house training on all product knowledge, and occasionally vendors come in to train you on products as well. Offers great benefits, pay is fair along with commision. You control your own commission and if you're really good at selling you'll be living large no time. No face to face with customers all over the phone, chat, or email support.

    Cons

    I don't always agree with Northern's procedures. They are one of the few retail companies that don't offer free shipping and customers let you know it constantly! Customers are constantly complaining about shipping costs - and I agree with them. Northern ties sales reps hands so it's hard to help the customer. Though 8/10 customer is being unreasonable. Even though they offer product training to an extent - I still feel it's not enough. The more product training the better. The business itself can get to you. If you aren't familiar with Northern's product and/or lack knowledge of the industry (tools & equipment) than it's hard to relate to customers and give honest advice and feedback, and it can take a toll on you.

    Advice to Management

    Offer more product training. When a rep is comfortable and confident about the product the customer will sense this and trust the rep, making calls go much easier. Cross train reps to other areas of support more often to break up types of contact with customers so it's not so stressful.


  3. More good than bad things about working here

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Burnsville, MN
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Burnsville, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good work life balance. Long term business focus with less short term frantic movements. Friendly people.

    Cons

    The corporate office building is old and run down. No in-building option for lunch so I end up leaving for fast food every day. Most people have crappy old computers with single screen.

    Advice to Management

    Get a better office space. Give everyone better computers.


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  5. Decent job

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    They have decent pay and decent hours

    Cons

    unexpected mandatory overtime at the end of shift.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up.


  6. Great company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechandise Planner in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Mechandise Planner in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great working culture. Friendly staff/co-workers.

    Cons

    Too much flexibility for day to day. Horizontal company.


  7. Warehouse and merchandising part time as student

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Merchandising Team in Murfreesboro, TN
    Former Employee - Merchandising Team in Murfreesboro, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Northern Tool + Equipment part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great environment, friendly coworkers, awesome management that worked very hard and didn't mind helping out when someone needed, flexible scheduling. I was never micro managed and was trusted fully to complete tasks without anyone breathing down my neck.

    Cons

    Pay wasn't great, but what to expect as a part time student doing a job that any monkey could do?

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  8. A Great Company to Work for that is headed in the right direction.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Northern Tool + Equipment full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Life balance is a real policy within the company. Management WORKS every third Sunday. You really leave at a decent time for your family, All employees have weekends off on a steady rotation and schedules are 3 weeks out for more life planning. Pay is better than average retail and bonus potential for sales team and management is regularly attainable as well as cashiers getting opportunities to increase their pay with achievable competitive incentives. Solid benefits with just a lot of cool stuff to sell.

    Cons

    Not too many....Sometimes the traffic is slow which could affect sales at some sites and make the days seem longer. HR may make you feel as if their talk doesn't match their walk, but the regional managers help to clean up any deficits.

    Advice to Management

    Pay is fair for the process oriented environment. Be prepared to follow a regimented routine to assist daily productivity. Assistant Managers run the stores with the Store Manager overseeing the entire process. As always focus on hiring the best and train up to make them better.


  9. Great work/life balance

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Northern Tool + Equipment full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Northern Tool Corporate has great work/life balance and truly values their employees. Needing flexibility for family reasons is easily granted. The position expectations are realistic. The company's core values truly define the culture.

    Cons

    They can, at times, be resistant to change and are not always accepting of new ideas.

    Advice to Management

    Push your management team harder at the corporate office. They can accomplish a lot more and still have the work/life balance they have today. Set deadlines and keep them.


  10. Good company culture, lousy pay.

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

    I have been working at Northern Tool + Equipment full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The corporate culture is great and they seem genuinely interested in their employees. New stores are opening every year, so there's always options for transfers on the retail end. Store culture is purely dependent on the Management's ability to make a positive culture and hire the right staff that gels together well. If you live in, or want to move to MN, corporate is 10 minutes outside the cities, and seem to really have fun there still. Number of opportunities are at a normal level.

    Cons

    $30k is the standard salary for an ASM. Depending on your experience, you'll be abe to get closer to $40k, but you had better bring your persuasive skills with you that day! Compared to ASMs at say Home Depot ($60-70k/year), it's almost robbery. Store manager can start around $50k depending on experience, store size, most importantly your bargaining skills, and if they're desperate. Sales employees start at $10/hr (1% on profit margin on sales under your name if you're FT), everyone gets spiffs on service/warranty plans sold. Can at least double your second paycheck of the month if you are consistent and the sales are there for the store. Company advertises tuition reimbursement for FT associates. That may just apply to corporate employees, because they won't approve it for retail store associates and the stores don't seem to "flexible" when it comes to you getting consistent time to actually attend school full-time. On the retail side, it's the perfect "retail trap" if you don't have a good exit strategy planned. The company culture is very dependent on the each store's management's abiliity to create/maintain one that aligns with the company as a whole. Corporate needs to step in more and make sure there is still some "fun" left before Northern Tool becomes just another mindless retail store that numbs everyone's brains.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees more, give them options for a better work/life balance and keep the culture fun and light. Make sure the employees will work well together and don't keep people until after the 90 day period if they aren't doing their jobs, aren't retaining knowledge and processes, and are just plain creeping other associates (and customers) out. They alienate everyone else, and create a horrible work environment.


  11. Good Environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Woodbury, MN
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Woodbury, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Northern Tool + Equipment full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Retail managers lead by example. 1 hour lunch. Top to bottom the management is very human.

    Cons

    Pressure to sell warranties ad nauseum. Perpetually shifting inventory into new configurations based on plan-o-grams created outside of the building with no exceptions possible. Occasionally making no sense for a particular location but no exceptions.

    Advice to Management

    You guys are doing just fine.



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