Borders Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

Borders Chicago Reviews

6 reviews

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Chicago, IL Area

4.0
StarStarStarStarStar
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Approve of CEO
Borders President and CEO Michael J. Edwards
Michael J. Edwards
1 Rating

6 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • The company went bankrupt otherwise I would still be there (in 15 reviews)

  • From paper chase to the cafe you couldn't go wrong (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A great environments... until near the end"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Borders full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    1. Products!
    2. Good discount
    3. Attracted interesting employees and customers alike
    4. Slower to adopt the hard-core retail mentality that has become the standard in big-box chains.

    Cons

    1. High turnover at the highest ranks
    2. Changing environment that led to almost inevitable demise
    3. Tendency to try to emulate B&N in later years, undermining it's own positioning as an alternative

    Advice to Management

    As the #2 chain retailer, Borders had a big challenge in a changing environmnet. In hindsight, the actions that could have prevented this needed to happen long before 2008, when things started to go badly. There were some major strategic mistakes (like fulfilling online orders through Amazon), but more than anything, Borders needed to recognize what made it appealing to customers and double down on those qualities rather than try to beat B&N at its own game.


  2. "Great Staff, Great Supervisor, Troubled Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company wasn't doing well, but the people that worked alongside me turned what could have been an entirely negative experience into a mostly positive one.

    My Supervisor, who was the District Manager of the Chicago Market, was a strong leader. He was honest and fair. I learned a lot from him and my time spent w/ him has helped in my post-Borders career.

    My staff and colleagues, meanwhile, were equally strong. I learned as much from my subordinates as I did from my supervisors. We were in a sinking ship, and we knew it, and we worked together to keep it afloat as long as we could.

    I worked in three separate stores while I was with Borders, and each experience was similar to the one before it; great staff, great supervisor, troubled company.

    Cons

    From the onset of my employment, the company was in financial crisis. E-books were killing brick and mortar book retailers, and making our store monetary goals became more and more challenging as time went on. Everyone on staff knew that the book industry was in trouble. This made for some stressful situations. Company-wide conference calls were disheartening. Corporate management was panicked, and focuses were changing weekly in a desperate attempt to find something -anything- that would reverse the trends of the business. It was hard. And, ultimately, nothing worked. The company eventually closed its doors and we all lost our jobs.

  3. "A Place To Be Missed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - General Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - General Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends

    Pros

    The People. The product. The customers.

    Cons

    Could be stressful at times due to the uncertainty of the compaies fate.

    Advice to Management

    Wish they could have saved her.


  4. "Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cashier in Gurnee, IL
    Current Employee - Cashier in Gurnee, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good environment, fun atmosphere, books and discounts are nice

    Cons

    Customers, hours, computer systems/rewards system/coupons errors.

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Nice place to work if you like your coworkers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Schaumburg, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Schaumburg, IL
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    great discount; typically your coworkers are well-educated and interesting; always discovering cool new books and music; customers generally treat you well

    Cons

    low pay; you end up spending all your money buying books and cds; you have to work late and come in early on weekends

    Advice to Management

    allow more room for promotion from within; less hours on registers (vary it a little); allow people to switch departments


  6. "A great place to work, while it lasts."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Seller in Highland Park, IL
    Current Employee - Seller in Highland Park, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunity to connect with people through books and music. It's a sales job without having to be an aggressive sales person. Hard work always goes noticed. being able to check out books has helped me develop into a very well read person. It calls for independence and self motivation while working as part of a team.

    Cons

    The company is facing challenges so getting hours cut can be a regular thing. There seems to be a huge disconnect between the home office and the stores themselves, they work in different realities.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be more consistency, more accountability. Needs to make it easier to fire bad apples as they can bring a whole store down very quickly.


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