Barnes & Noble Reviews | Glassdoor

Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated February 7, 2017
354 reviews

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Leonard Riggio
6 Ratings

354 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • professionalism, great environment for book lovers, 30% employee discount (in 234 reviews)

  • You get a pretty steep discount on books and coffee although sometimes I found that even with the employee discount things were cheaper on amazon (in 73 reviews)

Cons
  • The pay is just barely above minimum wage (in 142 reviews)

  • Part time hours and wages that a person can not live on (in 130 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Barnes and Noble Seasonal Employee (X-mas)"

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble part-time

    Pros

    The discount was nice I used that to buy X-mas presents. My fellow workers were friendly enough.

    Cons

    They do not give seasonal employees a ton of hours.


  2. "Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Working with books and book-loving customers, meeting authors, book fairs and community involvement can make the job exciting and interesting. Being part of a positive, productive team allows you to grow as an employee and Barnes & Noble is true to its promise of promoting from within.

    Cons

    Upper management, including corporate, is very inconsistent. If you're part of a good team with a genuinely involved manager who enjoys their job, it's a wonderful experience. If not, the job becomes chaotic, draining and deadening. Changes in the company's focus and expectations can feel random and punitive. There is no mechanism for addressing these concerns; although "We Listen" is touted as anonymous and confidential, it most definitely is not. I became aware on multiple occasions of information regarding other managers that I should not have had access to.

    There is little respect for Work/Life balance. Requesting time off or taking a sick day can be perceived as a weakness and there may be repercussions.

    Advice to Management

    Develop procedures for assessing upper level management - utilizing feedback from direct reports as well as actual observation and assessment of how the management team is functioning. Hold your District and Store Managers accountable to more than just sales and metrics; are they actually developing their employees? Update your yearly employee evaluation process to more accurately reflect the skills actually required in the job and subscribe to more current HR practices. Respect your employees work/life balance.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Disappointing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time

    Pros

    I can't think of any. Thats pretty bad.

    Cons

    They don't train you to do the job, you're lucky if you learn anything within the first month of working there. If you don't sell memberships, you get scolded about it constantly.

    Advice to Management

    Actually train people and set up some type of incentive for selling memberships, instead of paying your workers hourly minimum wage and expecting them to be motivated.


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  5. "For the love of people"

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

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

    Pros

    You work with amazing intelligent people

    Cons

    Weekly changes in merchandise confuse customers and employees equally.
    Management is outdated and inflexible.
    You will grow to hate the public.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Good Benefits Dismal Pay and Opportunity"

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are great, sick pay, insurance (health, life, vision, dental), personal leave, employee discounts, flexible schedules.

    Cons

    Doesn't believe in a living wage. Raises are capped at $0.25 per year. Little or no chance for advancement after completing all training and curriculum requirements. Management constantly and consistently caught lying to customers and employees alike, infighting, back-stabbing and clicks. Little support for employees. No sitting, must stand the entire time.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Bookseller"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time

    Pros

    B&N provides pretty great merchandise and Cafe menu discounts. I also really enjoyed my time working in the music department.

    Cons

    So many people would call out of work -- many faked being sick -- so booksellers would have to move around in different/unfamiliar sections with very little training. This wasn't a huge deal when it came to being put in shelving during opening hours or the music department when you regularly worked the cash registers, but was a huge deal when you had to fill in for a barista at the Cafe. I also got multiple calls from different MODs at B&N begging me to fill in for someone's shift despite being on approved vacation time 1000 miles away from where I worked.

    Advice to Management

    Actually TRAIN your employees before sending them out to work in different/unfamiliar sections of the store. A part-time bookseller isn't going to be able to memorize the whole Cafe menu and how to make menu items because a) barista isn't in the job title and b) the menu is huge and one training session isn't enough. Also, try not to schedule employees closing (anywhere between 7 or 8 p.m.-12 a.m., sometimes until 12:45 a.m. if the store is a disaster) one night and opening the next morning (anywhere between 6 a.m.-12 a.m.)


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Poor Leadership with no foresight."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits, though corporate seems to be cutting back on those lately. A few nice customers help get you through the day.

    Cons

    Leadership has no idea and is totally disconnected from the stores and reality. Booksellers are overloaded with tasks in the erroneous belief that moving books around every week will actually sell more. No time for training. Robotic leadership principles with no foresight - B&N is a dinosaur with no clue as to how to adapt to the modern retail world.

    Advice to Management

    Drastically cut the tasks, booksellers are torn between accomplishing tasks and helping customers. Look after your booksellers better - stop cutting discounts and benefits.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "BookSeller"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller
    Former Employee - Bookseller
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time

    Pros

    Decent employee discount
    You get to be around books!
    No irregular hours

    Cons

    Little to no training
    Usually stuck in one position for whole shift (cashier, customer service)
    Cashiers must sell a lot of memberships to get more hours

    Advice to Management

    The training program was terrible. I was stuck at a cash register with a workbook and told to go through it. The next shift I was thrown to the wolves and came upon several scenarios not in the training book. It also took several weeks to get someone to train me on the PDT so I could help stock inventory.


  10. "Low pay, not enough hours"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Barista in Norman, OK
    Former Employee - Barista in Norman, OK
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The job itself is really fun. Wonderful co-workers! You can read during breaks.

    Cons

    Most employees only get 9-15 hours per week and if you have second job you might get less than that. The turnover rate is really high. Almost nobody works there for more than a year.

    Advice to Management

    Give employees enough hours to make it worth their time to work with you. If you have good employees with open schedules, try not to alienate them by continually hiring new staff members when you already don't have enough hours to go around.


  11. "Bookseller"

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time

    Pros

    Most employees were friendly except for most of the managers. 50% discount on food and beverages from the cafe. Scheduling was very flexible.

    Cons

    Horrible pay, mean managers except for a few great ones. The GM is particularly miserable. You're expected to do way more tab you get paid for and the raises are laughable. The holidays are the worst, you are forced to stay until midnight or later cleaning up everyone's mess after working your entire shift.

    Advice to Management

    A better attitude might help alleviate the misery of those doing the hard work rather than barking out orders with a superiority complex.



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