Working at The Bradford Group | Glassdoor

The Bradford Group Overview

Niles, IL
501 to 1000 employees
1973
Company - Private
Retail
$100 to $500 million (USD) per year
The Bradford Group is a world leader in direct marketing and provider of limited-edition gifts, collectibles, home décor, and jewelry. Founded in 1973, we have an unyielding commitment to product quality and exceptional customer service which has helped us ... Read more

Mission: We strive to build a long-term relationship with each customer as an individual.

We relentlessly pursue breakthrough ideas for our products and direct marketing approaches.

We serve niche markets and try to be the leader in every market ... Read more

Company Updates

  • The Hamilton Collection is in need of a Marketing Manager down in Jacksonville, Florida! If any of you creative and analytical minds are out there, be sure to apply at http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQl82

  • Everybody thinks differently, which means workplace conflicts are inevitable.Try to keep these points in mind to resolve the situation appropriately! http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQljD

    14 Ways To Approach Conflict And Difficult Conversations At Work

    Having uncomfortable conversations at work is never easy, whether it's with subordinates or co-workers. This is especially true for people who are afraid of conflict and would do anything possible to avoid it. However, avoiding difficult conversations can actually lead to dysfunction and lack of performance, which can ultimately have a negative impact on a team and the business as a whole.

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The Bradford Group – Why Work For Us?


Our History

Over four decades ago, The Bradford Exchange—the flagship for what has become a worldwide business—was founded by a remarkable man, J. Roderick MacArthur. An independent and innovative leader, MacArthur was known as a marketing genius, and his entrepreneurial spirit paved the way for the present day business as a world leader in direct to consumer marketing and product development, providing products with Innovation, Artistry and Design of Enduring Value.

Origin of the Exchange

Foreseeing the need for a centralized collector-plate market, Rod MacArthur began importing decorative plates from Europe and selling them to distributors, dealers, and individual collectors through his company, which was then called the Bradford Galleries Exchange. By 1973, Mr. MacArthur dropped the word "Galleries" from the company name and set up a trading system—an exchange—that enabled collectors to obtain current market prices for their plates and to buy and sell these items to each other. At the heart of the Exchange was its computerized trading system. Although that system is no longer operational today, the notion of investing in innovation, art, and limited-editions, and the legacy of purchasing products of enduring value that can be passed down to loved ones, still resonates strongly with our customers and inspires the thousands of customer orders our business processes every year.

A World Leader

While the Exchange's role as the center of the secondary collector plate market is an important part of the Bradford Group’s heritage, it is only the first chapter of our story. From our beginnings as a key player in the collectibles plate market, the Bradford Group has expanded and become the recognized leader in new product development and sales of collectibles and gifts, with product categories that now include jewelry, apparel, dolls, music boxes, holiday ornaments, home décor, architectural villages, coins, books, personal banking checks, figurines and more.

Along with our growth into new product forms, the Bradford Group has dramatically expanded its global presence beyond our home base in the Chicago suburb of Niles, Illinois. The Company also has operations in Florida, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Our Company

The Bradford Group brings highly-valued, affordable art within the reach of nearly everyone. What once was a business dedicated to collectible plates has now grown into a close-knit family of businesses offering a variety of consumer products to our customers. We are a definitive leader in developing and marketing the finest quality products, including, gifts, jewelry, apparel, dolls, music boxes, holiday ornaments, home décor, architectural villages, coins, books, personal banking checks, figurines and more.

A Recognized Direct to Consumer Marketing and Product Development Leader

No other company in the industry sells to a greater market segment or offers a wider variety of products, and no other company has the resources and industry knowledge to consistently identify and develop new product trends and launch new businesses to meet those customer needs. With the highest percentage of successful products and more awards than any of our competitors, the Bradford Group dominates the industry in product development, direct response promotions and customer satisfaction.

Our Dual Core Competencies

Our Formula…Advanced Marketing + Innovative Product Development = Proven Success

The Bradford Group has dual core competencies, Marketing and Product Development, that are critical to our business. These areas of expertise are interdependent and have enabled us to produce both winning marketing strategies AND unique, high-quality consumer products–key elements to our years of success in providing our customers with meaningful products that enrich their lives. It is also what differentiates us from others in the marketplace.

Careers

As a world leader in the direct-to-consumer marketing of art and theme-inspired products, the Bradford Group is always seeking prospective colleagues who can offer a fresh, creative perspective. We encourage talented and dedicated professionals, capable of bringing innovative approaches to grow and expand our existing businesses, to consider building a career at our company. We seek to attract individuals who can help us make a difference as we continue to build a business focused on serving our customers and providing them with meaningful products that enrich their lives. The Bradford Group offers a variety of employment opportunities for passionate individuals seeking this challenge.

Unlike most other employment opportunities you may explore, you should know that our company is wholly owned by our employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that allows you to not only derive the benefits of working as an employee at The Bradford Group, but also gain the benefits of being an owner.

If you are ready to consider building your career with a winning team that will let you prove your potential and reward your results, we offer that opportunity!  (If you have a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to applying for employment at The Bradford Group, please contact Kimberly Baker at kimberly.baker@bgeltd.com). 

"As a long-time employee, I am gratified at the end of each day knowing I have helped at least one client find an affordable work of art for him or herself or to give to a loved one as a treasured gift. Our aim as a company and as individuals is to offer the best products at the best prices with the best service. I am honored to be part of this company."

-Customer Service Specialist

"There are a number of unique aspects to our business which present some very interesting challenges. This requires us to be quite creative in developing a wide range of solutions that meet our business needs and create value for the corporation."

-Chief Information Officer

E-Commerce:

Our e-commerce site, www.bradfordexchange.com, is a natural extension of our direct marketing business that has enabled us to apply knowledge from our offline successes and achieve even greater customer contact and response. The online marketing channels we use range from search engine marketing and optimization, pay-per-click, comparison shopping sites, and social media. Constantly innovating, the Bradford Group’s Marketers stay abreast of the latest marketing techniques and channels in order to maintain our position as an industry leader.

Marketing:

The Bradford Group’s Marketing teams possess a vast collective wealth of knowledge regarding sophisticated segmentation techniques, expert analysis and creative strategies that optimize every promotion we present to our customers. Our Marketing professionals are exceptional team players who collaborate daily with Product Developers, Advertising Designers, and Copywriters, and other individuals to develop, manage, and analyze all direct marketing strategies and campaigns, including new and series continuation offers. The marketing channels we use range from direct mail, catalog, space and alternative media, affiliates and portals, and email marketing.

Product Development:

Product Developers at the Bradford Group are passionate about creating new product forms and bringing affordable art to our customers. They possess a unique balance of both creative and analytical abilities, constantly researching and weighing information about market trends–what has worked in the past and what’s new in the marketplace–and then adding their own design skills to create something special, appealing and unique to our customers. Product Developers develop and present new product concepts and provide art direction to our Product Designers in order to execute their product ideas. Product Developers also establish a strong understanding of product manufacturing that enables them to gain access to the latest production techniques and materials, and effectively manage production costs. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Product Developer at the Bradford Group is having the opportunity to work with well-known artists and licensed properties.

Product Design:

The Product Design team is primarily responsible for preparing and
completing digitally designed product images from verbal or written instructions. Our
Product Designers are skilled in 3D modeling and traditional 2D art.

Advertising:

In a direct marketing company, advertisements become the face of an organization. Our Advertising Designers are tasked with telling the story of our products in a way that compels the customer to make a purchase. Through artistry and strategy, our designers create interest and appeal to our customers’ wants and needs.


The Bradford Group, along with our successful sister company Hammacher Schlemmer, are wholly owned by our employees under an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).  Thus, our employees benefit not only as employees of our enterprise, but they share in the wealth we create together.

An ESOP is a type of retirement plan that buys part or all of a company on behalf of employees who are eligible to participate.  It's similar to a pension or 401(k) plan, except that instead of owning stocks and bonds of outside companies, like most retirement plans, the ESOP owns the stock of The Bradford Hammacher Group, Inc.

The advantage of working for an ESOP company is simple: when the company wins, we as individauls win.  It is an opportunity to share the wealth we create together.  Through the ESOP, The Bradford Group is able to benefit in the following ways:

1. Share the responsibility

2. Maintain the company direction

3. Stay independent

4. Sustain our culture and values

5. Share the wealth generated by our success

As employee owners we have skin in the game!  We individually stand to profit from the financial success of the business as a result of our hard work.  This unique opportunity shapes are culture daily, and has allowed us to grow a team of empowered, driven employees.

The Bradford Group Reviews

3.0
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Richard Tinberg
50 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    "Best Place I Have Worked At"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Niles, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Niles, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Bradford Group full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Some of the nicest people and some of the best marketing minds I have had the pleasure of working with. Truly are devoted to growing the company and ensuring owner-employees are rewarded for their efforts. Because we are an ESOP, we not only benefit the company, but we benefit ourselves through added value of the shares we continue to receive as employee-owners. People are dedicated and I have seen many people advance in their careers throughout the organization. Hard work, dedication and passion for growth are definitely rewarded to those that truly exhibit this versus just being here and expecting it to come without full effort.

    Cons

    At times the overtime can be needed, but when not a necessity, flexibility in amount of time here is a benefit.

    Advice to Management

    Keep looking forward and we will all follow. The growth we are experiencing comes from your direction and vision and our ability to develop the plans and actions to initiate our growth and thus provide it.

See All 109 Reviews

The Bradford Group Photos

The Bradford Group photo of: We all had a blast at the Company BBQ! Delicious food, endless games, and great company - what's not to love?
The Bradford Group photo of: We all had a blast at the Company BBQ! Delicious food, endless games, and great company - what's not to love?
The Bradford Group photo of: We all had a blast at the Company BBQ! Delicious food, endless games, and great company - what's not to love?
The Bradford Group photo of: We all had a blast at the Company BBQ! Delicious food, endless games, and great company - what's not to love?
The Bradford Group photo of: We all had a blast at the Company BBQ! Delicious food, endless games, and great company - what's not to love?
The Bradford Group photo of: We all had a blast at the Company BBQ! Delicious food, endless games, and great company - what's not to love?
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The Bradford Group Interviews

Experience

Experience
46%
23%
30%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
54%
22%
6%
6
3
3
3

Difficulty

2.4
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy
  1.  

    ECommerce Marketing Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Niles, IL
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at The Bradford Group (Niles, IL) in June 2017.

    Interview

    I applied through LinkedIn. Within a week, I received a call from a recruiter and had a phone interview. She told me they were looking for someone who was Google AdWord certified, but that I could get it on the job. Despite not originally having the certification, I successfully completed all 8 Google certifications prior to the interview to show them that I was serious. She sent me a psychological evaluation and an application. I then went onsite where I completed a 50-question, 15-minute aptitude test, a 10-question Excel test, and interviewed with four managers. This took 4.5 hours because managers insisted on asking the same questions over and over again or asking questions that I answered before they were even asked. They seemed like an inexperienced squad, to be honest. Despite that, one of the managers told me upfront, "You had a pretty good interview." I sent thank you emails the next day and followed up once a week for three weeks after with the reoccurring promise that they would be making a decision the next week. Despite all of that, I never received an acceptance nor a rejection.

    Interview Questions

    • Basic situational questions. Questions pertaining to specific paid search skills.   1 Answer
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The Bradford Group Awards & Accolades

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