FilterChicago, IL Area
I worked at Borders full-time
The book discounts were fabulous. The free coffee in the cafe a nice perk but it was pretty lousy quality. It was Seattle's Best which had been purchased by Starbucks. Starbucks was the competing brand.
They were VERY slow on the online rollout with almost NO training on its use. The coffee was awful. Since the only people who bought the coffee were those who did not like Starbucks or just incidentally happened to be in Borders, it was often empty. Management made many poor decisions. In areas like the one where I worked specialty books needed to be available for the demographic and were not.
Advice to Management
I left in 2008. Your in-store employees truly knew much more than you did. Even before you went out of business, several years before we began the countdown. Value feedback from your employees more. They have value. Sometimes it's unpleasant but necessary.
Relaxed environment and flexibility with schedule. It was fun having the opportunity to stay current with trends in literature.
Corporate management didn't seem to know how to best run the company and keep it in business. They were clearly not listening to their associates on the selling floor who had day-to-day interactions with the customer base. Several marketing and product campaigns fell flat because they were tone-deaf.
Love working with Books, and customers. Each day is different and you are certain to have a variety of experiences. Customers often need personal attention, and you may find yourself spending 15-30 minutes helping someone locate or order a list of titles they must have. Often books are turned to as a source of solace and you find yourself helping customers dealing with the death of a loved one, a child diagnosed with autism, or someone who's just discovered they have cancer. You can make a difference in people's lives here. Your co-workers are often wonderful, and a real community develops.
Seriously cutting hours and demanding the impossible in sales in this terrible economic climate.Management has loaded sellers with too many tasks, with too little value given to customer interactions. Each store has unrealistic sales goals in this economic mire that we find ourselves... people are saving money for gas. This used to be a place I couldn't wait to go to each day, now with the cuts and penny-pinching customers are not a priority and sellers are not valued or honored for the many skills they must have to do the job well. Intelligent, capable sellers are the cornerstone of a bookstore.
Advice to Management
Sell it to amazon! You have already announced we are up for sale. So let's sell to someone with the resources to run our stores well and with pride. George doesn't care if we are selling Shakespeare or shirts. Borders booksellers do. They work for Borders because they love what they sell, as well as the bright and interesting people they work with.
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