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Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated February 22, 2018
3,108 reviews

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3.5
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Demos Parneros
25 Ratings

3,108 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • It can be very satisfying work but the minimum wage for the amount of maximum effort required does not work out well (in 164 reviews)

  • No cons for my employment as part-time (in 152 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time

    Pros

    Calm fun relaxing chill cool

    Cons

    Hours shifts breaks slow long


  2. "Barista"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    My co-workers and customers are the best and consistenly keep work very fun and exciting.

    Cons

    The managers aren't that fair when it come to hours and availability.

  3. "Best Job Atmosphere that I've Worked In"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time

    Pros

    Truly a great atmosphere to learn and grow in. Progressive company.

    Cons

    Moving away from full time workers to a part time labor force.


  4. "Was a good company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good coworkers and atmosphere, good benefits for retail, opportunity for advancement, usually promotes from within. Generous employee discount and matching 401k.

    Cons

    Relatively low pay to start, upper management is now a chaotic revolving door of people from other industries that obviously don't understand the book world. The company has lost a lot of true professionals in the last five years or so, and it shows.

    Advice to Management

    Never should have tried to go toe to toe with huge manufacturers of tablet computers, should have stuck with low cost e-ink readers. Should have stuck with what the company does well and should go back to basics. Be a community bookstore.


  5. "One of the better places to work in retail"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    You get to meet many interesting people and be a part of some great teams. Insurance benefits are quite good. Helping customers with challenges can be very satisfying. You get to be around books all day!

    Cons

    Micromanagement is extreme. They will require a great deal of effort for average to low wages. The company is struggling and changes will be everywhere.

    Advice to Management

    Remember what made you great: give stores more autonomy to tailor their experience to their communities, bring back community involvement that goes beyond just looking for money, and trust, invest in and be generous to your people on the front lines.


  6. "Great Place!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Barista in Waterbury, CT
    Current Employee - Barista in Waterbury, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble part-time

    Pros

    Good atmoshpere. Good for people that don't like to be surrounded by too much noise.

    Cons

    There are not enough hours sometimes.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Cafe Barista for 2.5 Years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cafe Barista in Skokie, IL
    Former Employee - Cafe Barista in Skokie, IL
    Recommends

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is no different from any other retail job. You will experience unfair situations with management, crazy and terrible customers, and strange situations in bathrooms and the mystery aisle. Some days, you just won’t be able to make that latte exactly 170 degrees, and someone will tell you that their cookie is “ice cold” despite being warmed up for twenty seconds in a microwave. When on the book floor, customers will expect you to be a super expert on everything book related, particularly when they want you to find a young adult book that’s blue and has a face on the cover. Sometimes, you won’t find that book. But one day, you will. And nothing will feel better than recommending books to that same customer with a thirteen-year-old daughter who loves the unknown princess trope, particularly when that customer compliments your work to your manager.
    Whenever writing a review, I always find it easier to talk about the bad parts of the job, even if the good always outweighed the bad. So, despite the bad I described, this job was always good to me. There were days when I was frustrated with school, and calmed by the café. Managers were always appreciative of my work, and even let me cross train and work on the book floor when I asked. If you work in the café, at least in one like at my store, your fellow baristas become a tight knit group of individuals. We all worked so well together, and I will always miss the camaraderie of the café and my friends.

    Cons

    While working as a barista, I often felt undervalued and misunderstood. Not necessarily as an individual employee, but as a department. The café rarely got the scheduling needed, and if two or more people were working, we were often pulled to help ring at cash wrap regardless of the state of the café. We were constantly given more tasks than what we were scheduled for. While I felt like my café was usually successful in completing these tasks, it did not come without much frustration.
    I feel like this issue stemmed from managers and the company undervaluing the café solely because of money. The café makes less money than the book floor, which makes sense considering Barnes and Noble is first and foremost a bookstore. Managers were often only concerned with sales in the café, and making sure we were pushing products and engaging with customers to push sales. While this is understandable, managers and higher ups need to realize that the café has to continue running in order for sales to be made. It was hard to keep up with baking food and restocking drinks during the busier seasons, when the line would extend out into the bookstore and only 2-3 people would be working.

    Advice to Management

    I truly feel that this problem could be solved if the company valued the café more than it does now, stopped overly focusing on sales, and made sure that all of their managers were trained in the café. Even cross training booksellers would help with this problem, as more employees would be able to help during busy times, and the store as a whole would have a better understanding of what baristas do in the café. The café is not just making drinks and serving customers, but so much more. (I would like to point out that some managers were very understanding, appreciative of us, and helpful when needed. However, these managers were in the minority when it should be the majority).

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Awesome! I recommend it!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Manhattan Beach, CA
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Manhattan Beach, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazing management. Friendly co-workers. They really, really care about the store and their business.

    Cons

    I don't really have any cons about the store/management but it's unfortunate that customers can be very rude. As with any customer service based job, just do your best. Otherwise, everything else is great.

    Advice to Management

    Remain the same. You are amazing.


  9. "Bookseller"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time

    Pros

    Very quite, relaxed environment, got to be around great books all day

    Cons

    Lack of training, overhiring for the same position, resulting in a huge lack of hours


  10. "If you can avoid it, do so."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead
    Current Employee - Lead
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Management and employee relationships are close, so it can be easy to communicate with them. Employee discount in store and in the cafe are amazing. You can practice your intellectual skills pretty well.

    Cons

    Corporate finds their employees disposable, claims to be better than most retailers but you're better working for any other one, and there is no incentive to sell. The pay is super low compared to anywhere else and the workload is really heavy. You are expected to juggle too many things at the same time. You are not rewarded when you do a good job, as it is expected of you. If you just have a bad day, you are scolded. Never have I done so much work and have felt so undervalued.

    Advice to Management

    Do not follow corporate policies too close. Do things as you would to make you employees feel appreciated, respected and cared for.


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