Working at Crate and Barrel | Glassdoor

Crate and Barrel Overview

Northbrook, IL
5001 to 10000 employees
1962
Company - Private
Retail
$1 to $2 billion (USD) per year
Crate and Barrel is an industry-leading home furnishings specialty retailer, known for its exclusive designs, excellent value and superb customer service. In addition to a thriving direct marketing division that services more than 90 countries, the company operates stores ... Read more

Company Updates

  • Check out how Crate's COO, Michael Relich talks about mobile technology and designing a seamless customer experience in this article.

    Crate & Barrel leader talks mobile tech and designing a seamless customer experience

    Understanding the consumer is just one part of the equation for Crate & Barrel. The key, as a top leader explained, is knowing what a consumer is looking for, helping them find it easy and quick, and driving the purchase forward.

  • Here's a shout out to Alicia Waters, VP of Marketing, CB2 as she creates & cultivates a career in Marketing! #CrateCareers #CB2

    How the VP of Marketing at CB2 Creates Its Swoon-Worthy Appeal

    Alicia Waters is the powerhouse behind CB2's amazing marketing. As the Vice President of Marketing for the brand that attracts consumers young and old, she is responsible for the voice, the look, and the swoon-worthy pics we can't get enough of. Elevated doesn't have to mean $$$.

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Crate and Barrel – Why Work For Us?


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We have the best designed collection of home furnishings and decor in the retail industry and pay thoughtful attention to the quality and value of everything we sell. We search the world for unique and current products that are beautifully displayed in our warm and clean stores and on our award-winning website. We have enticing catalogs and an engaging social media presence that reaches millions of people. We pride ourselves on our world class service based on over 50 years of product innovation and our life-long relationships with customers.

And right now, we have something else.

An opportunity for you.

If you’re considering a career in retail, if you’re passionate and have great taste, if you are enthusiastic and hard working, if you like to “wow” customers and are looking for a challenging and fun-filled work environment, Crate and Barrel is interested in you.

Visit a store near you to learn more, or search our current openings.

Furniture Sales Associate, Julius – 12 years

undefinedJulius began his career at Crate and Barrel as a Full Time Stock associate. Throughout the past 12 years,  he has held positions in both the stockroom and on the sales floor at various locations in Southern California. Julius’ passion for sales has led him to a successful career as a Furniture Sales Associate.

What’s the very best part of your job?
“Helping a client realize their dream purchase and building wonderful relationships...it's all about the people!  I love being on the sales floor, interacting with people, and exchanging ideas. Being a part of a client's thrill when they find the perfect product is equally rewarding for me.”

What do you like most about working at Crate and Barrel?
“I love the camaraderie and the family like atmosphere in every location. I love that as a store it's more about "us" or "we” and not just about the individual alone. I believe the success of an individual is not only a result of his or her effort, but a reflection of the support of the store as a whole.”

What has attributed to your success with Crate and Barrel?
“Crate and Barrel has given me the freedom to be successful.  With the support of the Crate and Barrel family, I learn and grow from every experience and customer interaction I have.”

General Manager, Jen - 14 years

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Jen began her career as a Part Time Sales associate. Throughout the past 14 years she has also held management and design positions at stores in Maryland and Washington DC, as well as the outlet store in Virginia. In her current role, Jen oversees all aspects of the business as the Homestore General Manager.

What’s the very best part of your job?
“The very best part of my job is working with the staff and customers.  I get to train and educate both our customers and associates about our exceptional product. I also find supporting associates in their team roles very rewarding. Plus I can give excellent customer service in the process.

What do you like most about working at Crate and Barrel?
“The Culture! I love the people and the product that I work and deal with on daily basis.  Helping someone set up a home or create a room with our product is rewarding and fun.”

What has attributed to your success with Crate and Barrel?
“The training and support given internally and externally has contributed to my success at Crate and Barrel. The atmosphere is always open to learning and one is constantly striving to do better. Management is open to new ideas---“leave the box open” and there is teamwork support from within the store at all levels.”


Visual Merchandising Manager, Kevin – 15 years

Kevin began his career at Crate and Barrel as a Furniture Sales associate. Throughout the past 15 years, he has held sales and store management positions in Homestores and Outlet stores in both Illinois and Texas. In his current role, Kevin oversees the entire look of the store as a Visual Merchandising Manager.

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What’s the very best part of your job?
“The very best part of my job is setting inspiring displays to help customers and associates appreciate the product.  If I can do my part in executing a room setting, it only enhances the customer's experience in the store.”

What do you like most about working at Crate and Barrel?
“The people are awesome! I’ve met some amazing people during my career with Crate and Barrel and some have become lifelong friends.”

What has attributed to your success with Crate and Barrel?
“I have been challenged with many new tasks during my career.  Such as selling, assisting customers “design” their homes, solving customer service issues, training and developing staff, and making the store look beautiful.  I think the opportunity to learn so many different aspects of the business has made me successful and kept me excited about my job.”

undefinedCB2 is a modern destination from Crate and Barrel that first opened in Chicago in the year 2000.  CB2 is affordable modern for apartment, loft, home. CB2 is a community (which we hope includes you) seeking modern home design that's clever and in the moment, that's spare and simple but with great attention to details, that's priced smart so we can all have it all (and feel smart doing so). The only attitude you'll find at CB2 is creative, fun, happy to share.

CB2 is about helping others by partnering on a national level with three causes that align with our hearts and minds—hunger, diversity and creativity through the arts. We invite you to learn more about our involvement with Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign to help end childhood hunger; with GLSEN and Characters Unite to help promote LGBT diversity and end discrimination through education; and with Creativity Explored to support artists of all abilities.

CB2 is now 11 urban stores in Chicago, New York (SoHo and Eastside), San Francisco, Berkeley, LA, Miami, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and our international stores in Toronto and Vancouver. Stop in and see the way we like to mix, play, live with emerging trends, new color, scale for spaces small and large. 

Meet some of our associates...

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"I love developing our associates and watching them grow within the company. It's always fun to share our personal stories of where we started with the company and where we are now."  Jasmine, Assistant Manager - 11 years


 
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"It lets me be creative, and i get to work with cool, modern decor, and bring inspiration to our customers. It's a one of a kind place and experience." Filip, Visual Merchant - 2 years
 
 
 
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"It's a lot of fun! It's an extraordinary experience due to the environment and culture of sharing, as well as working together toward any and all goals." Phyliss, Sales Associate - 2 years

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We first opened our doors in 1962 as a family business. Gordon and Carole Segal had just returned from their honeymoon in Europe where they had been amazed by all of the simple, well-designed and affordable things they had purchased for their home back in Chicago. Things like gorgeous handmade glassware, practical but very nice dinnerware and beautiful ceramic serving pieces. They realized that no store in the Midwest had these wonderful, affordable products for people like them who were just starting out. So being young risk-takers and passionate about all they had seen, they set out to introduce this exciting idea to Chicago.

That first store was in an old elevator factory on Wells Street, which was on the verge of becoming a very trendy street with stores, antique shops and restaurants. After taking six months to convince the occupants to move, the Segals had just two weeks to set up shop before the Christmas season began. All of their start-up funds had gone into inventory…so crating lumber was hammered over the battered plaster walls, shelves were covered with dyed burlap, and crates and barrels from the first shipments were turned over to become store fixtures. “Crate and Barrel” wasn’t just a clever name—it was a name based on necessity. Speaking of necessity, the only thing forgotten for opening day was, believe it or not, a cash register.

With a lot of enthusiasm and hard work, the store quickly became a place people were talking about. Gordon and Carole enjoyed getting to know their new customers and sharing firsthand knowledge of their products. Those relationships had a greater impact than any merchandising, display or advertising.

The year 1964 marked the first buying trip to Europe to discover out-of-the-way glass and ceramic factories and ateliers that could produce the unique, affordable merchandise Crate and Barrel customers could not find anywhere else. As the owners, designers and craftsmen became our new friends, each of their products became something more special to us. Each had a history. Each reflected a personality and a lifestyle. Now we could tell a customer not only how something was made and how to use it, but also why it was designed in the first place. And because we imported merchandise directly from European factories, we could pass the savings on to our customers.

It’s an understatement to say a lot has happened between those early days and now. Today, our homestores create an inspiring setting for not only our popular housewares, but also for our extensive furniture collection which we introduced more than 30 years ago. And while we still consider ourselves to be local shopkeepers, we’re now keeping shop in most major North American markets.

In 2008, we officially became an international destination with the opening of our Toronto homestore, since then followed by Calgary, Mississauga, Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver. Our retail passport even includes Dubai, Singapore and Mexico, with additional countries on the horizon. We’re global online, too, offering international shopping and shipping to our customers around the world.

All of this growth and expansion has been due in large part to the fact that we’ve remained loyal to our original mission of offering quality design at exceptional prices. But it’s been accelerated by our enthusiastic staff and the meaningful services we have added over the years to enhance our customers’ shopping experiences. Our catalogs are among the best in the industry and each new edition reaches millions of customers. Launched in 1999, crateandbarrel.com has dramatically increased our business and has been acknowledged by direct marketing leaders as one of the best e-commerce sites for presentation, ease of use and customer service. Our Wedding and Gift Registry serves more than 120,000 registrants annually in our stores and online, and has become a very important part of our business. Go to any wedding shower or housewarming and you’re sure to see our black and white boxes stacked high.

Today, Crate and Barrel is a privately held company owned by the Otto Group of Hamburg, Germany, the second largest online retailer worldwide. Our relationship with the Otto Group, which began in 1998, has enhanced our successful expansion across all channels.

CB2, our destination for the customer seeking affordable, modern furnishings, has been growing at an exciting pace since becoming a reality in 2000. With successful urban stores and robust online and catalog businesses, CB2 attracts new customers and generates an overwhelmingly positive response. In 2001, we partnered with The Land of Nod, a children’s furniture retailer whose creative merchandising is a wonderful complement to our own. The Land of Nod has been wholly owned by Crate and Barrel since 2010 and remains a particularly joyous place for customers as they begin their own families. To learn more about our family of brands, please visit www.cb2.com and www.landofnod.com.

After all of this successful expansion over the past 50 years, the original spirit of the first Crate and Barrel store has endured. Crate and Barrel is still known as a place where the staff is warm, friendly and well-informed. A place where the atmosphere is casual and where people feel comfortable. A place with thoughtful merchandise that enriches our every day. A place that both our associates and our customers are happy to call…home.

Crate and Barrel Reviews

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Crate and Barrel CEO Doug Diemoz
Doug Diemoz
78 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    "Great team for a software developer to join"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Developer in Northbrook, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Developer in Northbrook, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Crate and Barrel full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The e-commerce team has a great development team to work with. Team members are enthusiastic about their job, and are always willing to help each other out, especially the new team members. I was contributing code on my very first sprint, and was able to ramp up and become productive very quickly. If you are doing a good job, team members and management are always quick to not only notice, but let you know about it as well.

    Developers are encouraged to keep on top of the latest technology trends and offer up suggestions and new ideas on how things may be done in a better fashion. Managers are straightforward with developers about potential career paths and how one can achieve career goals.

    Prior to joining Crate and Barrel, it had been a long time since I'd actually looked forward to going to work each day.

    Cons

    Not really a con, but there is a large code base to learn. Over time, I have become exposed to more and more of it, but a single developer will never have well-rounded experience in all areas of the code base.

    Advice to Management

    Keep things going how they currently are. There is a seemingly limitless amount of projects needing to be done with an aggressive timeline, but I have yet to feel the pressure of an unreasonable deadline. My manager is great at managing my team's workload and ensures things stay in balance.

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Crate and Barrel Photos

Crate and Barrel photo of: Moscow Mule Mugs
Crate and Barrel photo of: Movie Night!
Crate and Barrel photo of: Elston Dining Chairs
Crate and Barrel photo of: Barware
Crate and Barrel photo of: Oliver Queen
Crate and Barrel photo of: Big Sur
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Crate and Barrel Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience
75%
14%
9%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
63%
25%
5%
2
1
1
0

Interview Difficulty

2.2
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy
  1.  

    Department Lead Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Interview

    I cannot- the GM told me would speak on several occasions, even emailing me to set up a time- never followed thru, but put me off twice. Told me on a Friday that we would speak before I left for the day- we didn't. She told me on the way out the door- "we'll speak next week". The next day (Saturday) I received her group "GM message" email, and was surprised to see that the position I was waiting to interview for had been filled. No interview, no explanation when I returned to work. A total blow-off, with no explanation whatsoever. EVERYONE INTERESTED IN A PROMOTIONAL OPPORTUNITY IS ENTITLED TO AT LEAST BE GIVEN A CURSORY INTERVIEW, EVEN IF THE DECISION HAS ALREADY MADE! RUDE, UNPROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR.

    Interview Questions

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Crate and Barrel Awards & Accolades

  • Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality, Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index, 2016
  • Dream Big Class of 2014, National Retail Federation, 2014
  • U.S. Design and Development Awards - Retail Store Design (Silver/Retail Store Design), The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), 2014
  • Great Places To Work (Honorable Mention), New Jersey Monthly, 2009
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Work at Crate and Barrel? Share Your Experiences

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