Borders Reviews | Glassdoor

Borders Reviews

Updated October 18, 2017
533 reviews

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4.0
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Borders President and CEO Michael J. Edwards
Michael J. Edwards
168 Ratings

533 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Much of the staff was smart and we were surrounded by books and music which was a plus (in 28 reviews)

  • employee discount, relaxed atmosphere, books (in 38 reviews)

Cons
  • The company went bankrupt unfortunately (in 16 reviews)

  • Went bankrupt Sorry to see the job go (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Too Little too late"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Stock Boy in Ann Arbor, MI
    Current Employee - Stock Boy in Ann Arbor, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Books, Books. Knowing the latest books and CD's and how good they are. Good friends. The hope that things will turn around and I can be proud of my job again.

    Cons

    Low pay, Radios in your ear, higher and higher expiations for less and less benefits. The staff is shrinking and the work load is the same or more. Management has turned cold and aloof. Middle management is under tons of stress and taking it out on the staff. Management expects staff to come up with solutions themselves. Constant chatter on the radios about borders rewards and large drinks. No tolerance for descent. Deification of Goerge Jones

    Advice to Management

    Ditch Borders.com, Sell books.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "used to be a cool place to work, now hellish"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - We Are All Booksellers in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - We Are All Booksellers in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Probably the best benefit for employees is the merchandise discount, which is pretty substantial (33% on most things in the store, including cafe items). I think most people would also say that one of the good things about working for Borders is having cool co-workers that can make it a pleasure to be at work. For full time employees there is also pretty decent health insurance and the usual paid time off. Also, there's a fairly relaxed dress code and the staff tends to be quite diverse. We also got to take home the free promotional books, CDs, posters, etc.

    Cons

    I started to feel that there was a total lack of respect and consideration toward employees, from corporate down to store level. Corporate severely cut back on benefits for the employees who are the foundation of the business--the booksellers in the stores. Corporate took away our monthly merchandise credit, holiday overtime pay, and 401(k) matching. From store management there was a total lack of communication: no clear expectations, constant changes with no explanation or follow-up, continual scheduling snafus. The mindset changed from one of providing good customer service to one which constantly pushed us to inflate meaningless numbers like Borders Rewards signups and CSI scores or risk being disciplined. Meanwhile management was taking away our means to create a satisfactory customer experience: our payroll hours were cut and priority was constantly given to useless tasks which took people away from service positions. We weren't even allowed to order basic office supplies like pens and tape, and they suspended complimentary gift wrapping. It really became an unpleasant workplace--the day I was told not to laugh while at the store (even though I was off the clock--true story!) was the day I started to realize I didn't want to work there anymore. Sad, since this was a job I used to love. Also, the pay is really terrible, even for retail.

    Advice to Management

    It would really help morale if you'd treat your employees like human beings, not like expendable drones.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Take at real look at the employees they have had all they can take."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Auburn Hills, MI
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Auburn Hills, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Discount and thats pretty much it

    Cons

    Work you to death and then want to write you up for not doing enough.

    Advice to Management

    Look at your employees. You are killing them. They have lost any respect they once had for the company. Instead of looking at the CSI scores and blaming the employees, take some the blame as well. We have no hours to use on the floor to keep the "availability of assistance" at a level you want being 100% When there is no one for the "Floor Manager" to direct its not our fault!!!!


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Close the book on this one!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Buyer in Ann Arbor, MI
    Former Employee - Buyer in Ann Arbor, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great exposure to the book industry and understanding of a niche business. Very strong company for diversity.

    Cons

    Constant change, ready-fire-aim is the mentality of Borders. There's an idea, let's implement it, don't tell your fellow departments about it, hope it works, and ir/when it fails, severly reprimand or fire those that weren't or MIGHT have been invovled. VERY negative environment. No great vision or strategy for success, either personally or company-wise. Terrible advancement opportunities. Once you reach the top, watch your head. The ax is probably leaning next to your desk.

    Advice to Management

    People are people, not the latest novel you can bookmark and HOPE you get back to soon. You're dealing with real lives with real consequences. LEARN from your mistakes before you cost irreperable damage to your customers, your employees, and your legacy.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "We will need to start a center for stressed former Borders employees soon..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IPT and Anything Else They Can Force Me to Do in Auburn Hills, MI
    Current Employee - IPT and Anything Else They Can Force Me to Do in Auburn Hills, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    These days, the discount maybe?

    Cons

    HORRIBLE Pay, No advancement, No hours, No help, angry employers, angry customers, lowwww raises if any, cut our 401k benefits, many threats to be "terminated", and everyone has to pull the weight of 8 individuals.

    Advice to Management

    Start over.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Been there, read that, move on."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Part of the Corporate Machinery in Ann Arbor, MI
    Former Employee - Part of the Corporate Machinery in Ann Arbor, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The access to entertainment product was nice. It was easy to explain to people where I worked and what the company did.

    Cons

    There was rampant cronyism. You were either part of the quickly promoted few or a complete nobody. The organization is very political. There was very little accountability for competent job performance. There are very few adequate leaders in middle-management.

    Advice to Management

    Take the company private. Get off the publicly traded Wall Street train. The business model simply does not fit the Wall Street, drive quarterly earnings, performance expectation and its gets in the way of good long-term decision making.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "It could be a great place to work if only they'd let it...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bookseller
    Current Employee - Bookseller
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Close friendships with other employees, access to book borrowing, being in the know media and book-wise, and the occasional joy-to-talk -to customer experience.

    Cons

    Double speak from corporate levels, fluctuating work hours, shrinking benefits, payroll cuts on the store level (not the corporate) even before the current economic crisis, being forced to pester customers about memberships/promotions/charity donations even if there's a huge line queuing up behind them, coupon-crazed customers who never bother to bring said coupons, being told to not offer coupons to card members who lack coupons unless they ask (and they usually ask after the transaction is over, creating a double bind that makes the seller look like an underhanded stooge). Superiors being willing to let things go until they are unworkable or the next corporate visit rears its head.

    Advice to Management

    You should upgrade computers in pre-existing stores not just new ones, focus on improving the morale of employees by how you treat them NOT by telling them that they must improve their own morale as benefits are whittled down, create a blanket membership discount card for the customers, advance employees to management positions because of their leadership, organizational, and people skills not because of their eagerness to please their superiors or their ability to tow to the company line.
    Cease expensive overhauls (ie. cafe, cards) that eat up precious development capital and focus on store improvements / maintenance in individual shops to keep up customer & employee morale/interest/loyalty.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Get your sh@t together. Or admit defeat."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Manager
    Former Employee - Sales Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You get to work with books and your coworkers are more often then not educated and open.

    Cons

    Everything else. Horrible upper management. Pathetic pay, the corporate big wigs in ann arbor or running around forcing district managers to yell at general managers because they seem to think that that will somehow save the company.

    Advice to Management

    Treating store management like they are worthless and incompetent is not going to save your company.


  9. "It's a dying horse."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The books, the booksellers, the customers.

    Cons

    Now, too few hours to do too much in. Unreasonable expectations. Lack of vision or direction.

    Advice to Management

    Hey let's throw everything at the wall if it sticks well try it-- doesn't matter of its a goober, it stuck.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Yikes."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Merchandising Supervisor
    Former Employee - Merchandising Supervisor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Book borrowing, discount. Great benefits if you are in school.

    Cons

    Unprofessional managers. Unrealistic expectations of employees. Underpaid. Constantly cutting hours. Terrible morale.

    Advice to Management

    Pay a fairer wage and treat your employees with dignity. Happy employees means happy customers.


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