Blackwell UK Reviews | Glassdoor

Blackwell UK Reviews

Updated October 4, 2017
9 reviews

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4.0
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David Prescott
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great people and clear objectives, though a definite lack of progression."

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

    I have been working at Blackwell UK full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people - staff all around the country are definitely in it together. Support staff at Head Office are also great, by and large.
    Variety to the job is good - it's an opportunity to learn various skills (though this can slip in to cons at times, in terms of workload...)
    Overall company targets are clear.
    Benefits are largely good for a retail company.
    Salary - some would put this in the con box (and are vocal about it), but for a retail company in the book industry, they're actually pretty standard.
    A clear system in place for upward communication and public conversations with senior management (where appropriate).

    Cons

    Opportunities for progression are few and far between, particularly in certain strands of the business. This is understandable due to funding, but it can be really frustrating to the ambitious staff in the company - and inevitably leads to the best staff leaving to pursue other opportunities.
    Can be stressful at times. Obviously our peak seasons are busy, but staff are thin on the ground in certain shops and we can get stretched to our limit. It also means that support can sometimes be short, particularly when it's most needed.

    Advice to Management

    My primary problem is the lack of upward mobility, however giving advice for that (that is business viable) is difficult. I would suggest the leadership team drawing up a list of our "future stars", sitting down with them, and having an open conversation about their future - it may keep them around long enough to see them fulfill their potential.

    Blackwell UK Response

    Oct 9, 2017 – Customer Service & Operations Director

    Thanks for the useful feedback. We are reviewing how we improve in investing in and retaining our best people.


  2. "Excellent people"

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

    I worked at Blackwell UK part-time

    Pros

    Excellent people to work with
    Passionate colleagues
    Good working hours
    Good environment

    Cons

    The pay scales
    Career progression
    Lack of roles available

  3. "Nice place to work"

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

    I worked at Blackwell UK full-time

    Pros

    Good colleagues, flexible working hours. Pay ok for retail.

    Cons

    Not much scope for development,


  4. "Bookseller"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller
    Former Employee - Bookseller
    Recommends

    Pros

    -Work environment
    -Learning and talking about books

    Cons

    -Difficult to progress
    -Salary (minimum wage)


  5. "Blackwell's Southbridge"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Friendly team
    Supportive work environment
    Great staff discount (30%)
    Proofs and arcs available

    Cons

    Zero-hour contract for temporary work

    Advice to Management

    Possibly hiring fewer people during temporary periods of work so individuals get more hours of work, especially during very short-term employment opprotunities


  6. "Close nit team"

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

    I worked at Blackwell UK (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good working environment with a close nit family team within the store, and even when calling other branches. Even temp employees were treated like permanent.

    Plenty of laughs throughout the day, good morale.

    Recognition and thanks when hard work was done.

    Managers get stuck in at the bottom level as well as doing there own work. They become more friends that bosses.

    Basic retail hours and you know your days in advance. Any changes you request won't be frowned upon and will be worked out as best as possible.

    Occasional over time out of hours, but you won't be forced to do it.

    Cons

    Wages are ok, but rarely increase unless the national minimum wage goes up. Although this was understandable due to the financial position of the company. (I am aware that there are plans to change the future of the company to be owned by its employees, so this may change in the near future)

    Career progression was hard. This mainly due to the size of the company and that positions would only come up if someone left which isn't that often.

    Work load can sometimes be stressful due to the sheer amount of work required or the deadlines it needs to be done in (Bulk returns for example)

    Some work can get very repetitive, like de-stickering books...

    Advice to Management

    de-stickering books.... pain in the a**


  7. "Sales Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Nottingham, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Nottingham, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Blackwell UK part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly staff, Nice environment, enjoyable job

    Cons

    Not much variation, and not opportunities to progress

  8. "I was employed as a bookseller in the UK"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bookseller in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Bookseller in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blackwell UK part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - good store manager and colleagues
    - lively environment
    - Senior management is good and cares about you
    - Very good for a first retail job to get some experience and to put on your CV

    Cons

    - it can become hectic with the academic seasons
    - Can be become repetitive

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work David Prescott!


  9. "Great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Bookseller in Nottingham, England (UK)
    Former Contractor - Bookseller in Nottingham, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Blackwell UK as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Easy work, great colleagues and good customers.

    Cons

    No incentive schemes/rewards for hard work. Bonuses denied regularly.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure your staff are happy.