BI-LO Reviews | Glassdoor

BI-LO Reviews

Updated June 15, 2017
380 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.8
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BI-LO President and CEO Ian McLeod
Ian McLeod
60 Ratings

380 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • it's part time don't really get no hours (in 22 reviews)

  • Upper management seems constantly unprepared (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Part-Time Cashier"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Part-Time Cashier in Clearwater, SC
    Former Employee - Part-Time Cashier in Clearwater, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at BI-LO part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    They paid weekly which was nice. Great job for students or those looking to earn a little extra money. Management worked well with my scheduling needs.

    Cons

    No one really had any aspirations. No one did more than what was expected. This is far different from my other jobs. I prefer to work with others who want to better themselves.


  2. "Avoid at All Costs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Third Shift Stocker in Greenville, SC
    Former Employee - Third Shift Stocker in Greenville, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at BI-LO full-time

    Pros

    There was absolutely nothing positive about working for Bi-Lo and SE Grocers other than the fact that some of the people I worked with were not complete jerks--hardly a meaningful "pro" since any business that employs over a dozen or so people should have at least a handful of non-sociopath employees. Otherwise, working for Bi-Lo and SE Grocers was a purely miserable experience from beginning to end.

    Cons

    After a successful career in a highly stressful, highly compensated professional and managerial positions in a field related to law enforcement, I sought to transition to something less stressful and personally dangerous in my mid-30's. I took an entry-level position at Bi-Lo--third-shift stocker at a measly $9 an hour--and was told that with my prior professional and managerial experience in another field plus prior successful exposure to the grocery business (during college), I would be likely to quickly advance in the company.

    Despite being in good physical condition and a hard and diligent worker, I was not able to even come close to the productivity targets set for my position. Neither was anyone else who held the same position I did. All of us were between 40% and 50% of the productivity targets, even though all of us were healthy adult males in good physical condition. No human being could possibly have met the productivity goals we were given because the job we were given was different from the one the productivity goals were set for. The productivity goals were for workers employed purely to stock and block shelves, yet our responsibilities involved doing all sorts of additional things. Literally any problem of any kind with the shelves we were responsible for was our responsibility to fix, and many of the issues had nothing whatsoever to do with stocking and blocking.

    After a month on the job, every member of my crew (who were as new as I was) ended up being written up for failing to meet the productivity targets set by the home office in Jacksonville for a position that encompassed only a fraction of our actual job responsibilities. When every single member of a third-shift stocking team has the same case-per-hour rate and all are physically fit individuals, and the rate is only 40% to 50% of the corporate home-office expectation, then either (a) all the employees are worthless, lazy bums or (b) some systemic problem exists that makes the corporate bean-counter productivity targets inapplicable to these particular employees in this particular setting.

    In-store management opted for explanation (a) and regarded all of us as worthless, lazy bums, even though we all worked as hard as any sane human being would, particularly at a $9 an hour third-shift hard-manual-labor job in an area where very few people had the slightest interest in such a position. Management rejected our cogent and obviously correct explanations that we were expected to perform tasks far beyond mere stocking and bluffing/blocking and were unfairly expected to correct ALL problems with the shelves for which we were responsible, a process that required us to diagnose and fix all sorts of problems entirely unrelated to stocking and blocking (and to do so without accurate tags, without access to accurate plan-o-grams, and without access to information about product discontinuations and additions). The obvious reason for this was that our in-store managers would rather report us as bad employees rather than admit to upper management that third-shift stocking--at least in our store--was something that required more than mere stocking and blocking and, therefore, corporate expectations of third-shift productivity were off by a factor of two.

    I was entirely willing to start a new career at a job where I would make $9 per hour, but I was not willing to work somewhere where I would work my tail off only to have my productivity interfered with by errors made by other employees and still be fussed at for failing to make productivity goals. I was around 45% of the productivity goal established for my position despite working as hard as any reasonably in-shape person could work, which meant management thought my labor was worth approximately $4 per hour (since my agreed-upon pay rate was $9 per hour and I was only producing 45% of the labor expected). I resigned from the position as a matter of self-respect.

    I refuse to work somewhere where I am going to be undercompensated, verbally abused, and formally disciplined for failing to meet productivity goals that plainly have no application to the actual job I am expected to do. No person with the slightest ounce of self-respect would work in an environment like that, and the turnover rate in my job position was exactly 50% in the single month that I worked at Bi-Lo. That should be a signal to in-store management and upper management that a problem exists, but it is not. Employees who sensibly move on are derided as lazy quitters and losers by management who are utterly clueless about their own failures to competently assess and adequately evaluate the productivity of the employees in question, a failure which leads to drastic undervaluing of the labor of these employees, unjustified verbal and written discipline, and a miserable environment for all concerned.

    I bailed. Being underpaid is one thing--I expected that, changing careers and selecting an entry-level job in which to (hopefully) prove myself. But being undervalued in addition to being underpaid is a whole different story, particularly when the undervaluation comes in the form of nasty verbal discipline and formal written discipline--black marks which could easily make advancement impossible, especially into the ranks of upper management, which was my ultimate goal. Unless you are the type of worker who has not the slightest ounce of self-respect and will have no problem being told your hard work is essentially worthless (i.e., not even fairly compensable at a rate at or above minimum wage), avoid Bi-Lo and SE Grocers like the plague.

    Advice to Management

    SE Grocers is a company that is probably beyond help due to woefully out-of-touch upper management in far-away Jacksonville, Florida and middle management (the in-store managers and regional managers) who see the problems but are unwilling or unable to fix them and are not motivated to add value by adapting the store-level processes control to compensate for upper management's cluelessness. Process failures are inevitable, and non-managerial employees--the ones who do the actual work--are inevatably blamed for them, despite having no control over the processes that caused the failures. Poor treatment plus poor compensation is a toxic combination in today's labor force; millennials simply will not put up with it no matter how much they are berated by their managers for not being the sheep-like, go-along-to-get-along laborers previously available in the labor market. Bi-Lo will soon lose access to the laborers it needs to survive in an increasingly millennial-dominated entry-level/low-level labor marketplace.

    To list all the other things wrong with Bi-Lo and SE Grocers would take more characters that I am permitted on this website. Customers will not reward a grocery store whose pricing is obviously inferior to Walmart and whose quality is just as obviously inferior to Publix, the other two major players in the Upstate South Carolina grocery business. SE Grocers is unwilling to make expenditures necessary to raise quality to compete with Publix, and SE Grocers is unable to compete with Walmart's pricing advantages due to inferior economies of scale.

    There is no middle ground in the grocery business. Customers who care most about pricing are going to Walmart. Customers who care most about quality are going to Publix. No one is left to go to Bi-Lo except people who live close to a Bi-Lo but far away from the Walmart or Publix they would prefer to shop at.

    The whole SE Grocers enterprise will be back in bankruptcy within a decade, probably five years or less, and likely in a liquidation rather than a reorganization this go-round. The consumer grocery marketplace does not favor mediocrity, and that's all SE Grocers and Bi-Lo can offer due to poor managerial decisions at the top and an inability or unwillingness by middle management to contribute anything other than listless, thoughtless obedience to the clueless dictates of upper management while adding no value of any kind on their own.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Horribly Stressful Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Front End Cashier in York, SC
    Current Employee - Front End Cashier in York, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at BI-LO part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work here if you are desperate for a job.

    Cons

    Too many relatives working in the same store. Completely non-supportive management. Low pay, nowhere to go, company seems financially unstable.

    Advice to Management

    Don't talk about employees behind their backs to other employees. Hold employees accountable for doing their jobs correctly and don't expect other employees to fix their mistakes.


  4. "Excellent job!!! Easy!!!w"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Service Lead in Myrtle Beach, SC
    Current Employee - Service Lead in Myrtle Beach, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BI-LO full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The people are great!!! Love my regular customers great pay all around fun environment to be in for 8 hrs a day

    Cons

    Not enough hrs... sometimes do the jobs of 3 ppl management doesn't care sometimes.. a lot of call outs management needs to step up and help there people

    Advice to Management

    Speak to your associates!!!! If you want something from them give something in return

    BI-LO Response

    Apr 27, 2017 – Employment Branding Specialist

    We're thrilled that you're so happy in your current role! Thank you for providing some great and valuable feedback. We're constantly trying to do better so we value feedback from our associates ... More


  5. "Company is moving to mainly part-time expect for Department Managers. No room for progress or promotions as of recently"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Grocery Lead in Lincolnton, NC
    Former Employee - Grocery Lead in Lincolnton, NC
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at BI-LO full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The select few people I actually worked with. Very flexible work schedule at my location. Vacation/sick days, insurance, dental, vision.

    Cons

    Primary focus is customers as it should be, but over the last 2 years the well being of the employees has diminished. Safety was my main concern when working as not all appropriate safety equipment was immediately available if needed. All stores are required to have all equipment available as per OSHA signage (safety harnesses, gloves, aprons, goggles, chemical spill station, sure steps, etc) while most of these were available, the ones that my department need the most were not abundant or not even available if we needed them. Our store needed regular maintenance to stop roof leaks, but every repair was temporary and had to be done again in 3 months. Recent "downsizing" left departments with little, reliable help. Sometimes baggers or cashiers were thrown into a department to fill in with no help and were expected to perform the same quality work with no previous training. Over the last few years management has gone to hire only when in desperate need to fill a spot without an actual interview. Most of the time if you were available to work, you got hired on the spot. No background checks/drug screening/no real skills, all-be-it my department wasn't rocket science, there still should be some sort of screening before throwing a new hire into a position and expect then to perform up to the standards of the Department heads.

    Advice to Management

    Communication from all ends is key. Need to focus a bit more on caring for employees a little better

    BI-LO Response

    May 15, 2017 – Employment Branding Specialist

    We're thrilled that you enjoyed working with your co-workers and the scheduling flexibility! Thank you for providing insight into how your store has been operating. We're constantly trying to do ... More


  6. "Customer Service Representative"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Charlotte, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BI-LO part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Weekly
    Local
    Hourly
    Retail
    Great company

    Cons

    Not paid enough
    Benefits could be better

    Advice to Management

    Na


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Not The Best"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Produce Associate in Glennville, GA
    Current Employee - Produce Associate in Glennville, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at BI-LO full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people there were great

    Cons

    The management could care less

    Advice to Management

    Learn your job

    BI-LO Response

    Apr 28, 2017 – Employment Branding Specialist

    We're glad that you've been able to build some friendships with your co-workers but we're sorry that your management team seems disconnected. I have no way of knowing (on Glassdoor) which location ... More


  8. "Clerk"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Deli Clerk in Myrtle Beach, SC
    Current Employee - Deli Clerk in Myrtle Beach, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at BI-LO part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    great customer connection. work and life balance

    Cons

    unsuccessful in hiring new associates

    Advice to Management

    no help as far as moving employees to more advanced position


  9. "Stocker at Bi-Lo Late Night"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Overnight Stocker in Augusta, GA
    Former Employee - Overnight Stocker in Augusta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at BI-LO part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Nice people on the graveyard shift.

    Cons

    Pay, Pay, Pay, Pay, Salary was not as told in the interview.

    Advice to Management

    Honesty is the best policy!!


  10. "Service manager in training"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Service Area Manager in Bragg, GA
    Current Employee - Service Area Manager in Bragg, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at BI-LO full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I love the people there the hours are good I thought it was a family atmosphere

    Cons

    I had an interview ,job offer a few days later but have never been put in training and never got any more money but I'm doing the job

    Advice to Management

    Do you think it's really worth to tell somebody there in training and then tell them that they won't get structured training for more than a year but yet you want them to do the job! really?


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