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Cato Buyer Reviews

Updated May 21, 2019

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1.9
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Cato CEO John P. Derham Cato
John P. Derham Cato
9 Ratings
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Not Worth It"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Buyer in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cato full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Worked with a great group of people.

    Cons

    Compensation is NOT WORTH the time and effort and extra work expected. No real room to improve and grow individually in career.

    Advice to Management

    Understand the work amount already tasked in job descriptions along with additional projects etc. you task and the time constraints that creates.

    Cato2019-05-21
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Assistant Buyer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Assistant Buyer in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cato full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you take the initiative, you're really left to manage your business/work load as you see fit. As long as you're hitting your deadlines.

    Cons

    Very political. No role models from management or CEO. Training is terrible. IF you stay long enough to get promoted, the pay structure works so that you actually make LESS by being promoted within the company, then if an outside person with more experience is hired.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate your employees

    Cato2019-01-10
  3. Helpful (2)

    "Worst Buying Job ever"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Buyer in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cato full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    One of the only retailers located in Charlotte

    Cons

    Managed by a bunch of crazy people. Worst buyer job I’ve ever had. Old ways of thinking and awful management- Dont work here unless you have too.

    Cato2019-01-11
  4. Helpful (5)

    "Merchandising"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Assistant Buyer in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cato full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great merchandising experience for those wanting to grow in the industry

    Cons

    Distribution of work force is not in line with distribution of work load. Hard to get work done due to extreme amount of meetings. Pay is not competitive at all for the industry. Management is not concerned with people’s time-often wait 15-20 min after a meeting was supposed to begin due to key management not showing up.

    Advice to Management

    Don’t claim to be taking work off of people’s plates when in reality workload and number of meetings keeps increasing.

    Cato2018-09-26
  5. Helpful (3)

    "Assistant Buyer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Buyer in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cato full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Experience, you learn what kind of company you DON’T want to work for.

    Cons

    You get put wherever they need you and that most likely is with a terrible manager since turnover is so high. Buyers and DMs who respect their assistants have long term employees. Blame gets placed on you whether you made a decision or not. Work load is unreal for the amount you get paid. They treat you like less than nothing and expect way to much to happen in a work day.

    Advice to Management

    Take responsibility for actions you make instead of dumping them on people in the positions lower than you and who keep the company going.

    Cato2018-09-09
  6. Helpful (6)

    "Sr. Assistant Buyer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Assistant Buyer in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cato full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Traveling to NYC and staying in touch with the latest trends is great. Picking out prints and colors for clothes and then seeing them come to fruition is very satisfying.

    Cons

    The corporate culture at Cato is stuck in the 1960s. Management does not trust their employees. Employees on the buying side work very long hours and are still told how many breaks they can have. The salary is very low for the work load (I have teacher friends who made more money). The work/life balance is non-existent. The CEO wants to see people in their chairs, whether or not they are productive.

    Cato2018-05-23
  7. Helpful (5)

    "Think twice before accepting a job here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Buyer in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cato full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The people are great. Office is nice / newly renovated.

    Cons

    The entire company has drastically changed in the past few years, and not for the best. It's appealing for a new college graduate to get the title assistant buyer, but my best advice to anyone looking at this opportunity, run. There are much better companies that will pay you fairly and treat you better. The salary is insulting, and it does not get much better even when you have stayed and grown within the... company. Also management expects you to work 50+ hour weeks with no incentive. The turnover rate has gotten so bad you are lucky to meet someone that's been there more than a year or so. Upper management is a complete mess that has no idea what to do / what direction to go in.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Stop micromanaging your teams and let them do their jobs. Show employees you care, give incentives and praise for good work.

    Cato2018-01-02
  8. Helpful (10)

    "Avoid like the plague"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Buyer in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cato full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing co-workers. There are a lot of talented and smart young people at corporate. It is unfortunate they are taken advantage of and not appreciated more. Office was recently renovated and is nice. Discount is ok - 20% off full price and sale. Benefits are ok.

    Cons

    Extremely low pay. Knew some people who had to get part time jobs working late nights just to get by. Really sad. Constant meetings. Never had time to get any work done which leads to my next point. No work life balance. Many people stay late to make up for time missed during day due to hours of meetings. No direction. Everyone has a different opinion and aren't afraid to voice those opinions which leads to... confusion. No one knows what's going on. We don't even know who the Cato customer is. Huge problem. I feel for those in the stores and corporate hears you but is given no power to change anything, even the things we should be able to and are able to change - we aren't allowed by upper management. The turnover is absolutely unreal. Cato corporate is a revolving door. People can and will find better paying, more stable corporate retail jobs and the more Charlotte grows, the more options they'll have. Drama, drama, drama. Upper management whisper in the hallways and talk poorly about candidates that came in to interview in front of other employees. So unbelievably unprofessional. John Cato is very involved in every aspect of the business and is very vocal but doesn't have any idea what is really going on. As the CEO, President, Chairman of the Board AND namesake of the company, he should have a much better grasp on the business. Cato does nothing for their employees. No Christmas party, team building activities, NOTHING. No wonder morale is so low.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Learn who your customer is and cater to her. Listen to store employees. They are on the forefront and are the ones who carry out our thoughts and ideas from corporate. They are very important and their happiness is key. Make sure they have proper resources and pay them fairly. Simmer down. The constant arguments, petty drama and overly opinionated people are not going to help elevate the company. Pay your... people what they deserve. Everyone. From corporate to part time sales associates. You get what you pay for and you are reaping what you've sown.

    Show More
    Cato2016-07-25
  9. Helpful (10)

    "Toxic work environment. Worst corporate experience of my life."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Buyer in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cato full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Bonuses paid most years. Able to walk out of the door at 5 pm, as most employees do.

    Cons

    Buying office is run like a dictatorship. Upper management micromanages everything down to the sku level. If you are ambitious, creative and have good business acumen this is not the work environment for you. No such thing as a merit raise, 1-2% increase in salary a year regardless of business results. Be sure to negotiate salary up front. PTO- very little time off for sick/vacation. Not family... friendly Very little opportunity for growth beyond the Buyer level. Hostile working environment- Top level merchants are known for screaming and throwing tantrums. DMM's stay petrified and show their Buyers little to no support. Upper management is out of touch with the retail environment of today and not open to new ideas. Out of touch with who the consumer is, what the marketplace has become and what it takes to move business forward into the future. Business is suffering because of this.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Stop micromanaging your employees and allow them to do the job you pay them to do. Be open to listen to new ideas. Hire new talent to bring in fresh ideas, better retail/marketplace/global business knowledge in order to move the company forward.

    Cato2013-01-21
  10. Helpful (6)

    "Don't do it!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Buyer in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Cato full-time

    Pros

    Light work load No one works past 5pm Good place to gain experience

    Cons

    Upper management is very disrespectful to direct reports Pay is not competitive with other retailers Not moving forward, will soon be left behind as other retailers move forward. Upper mgmt does not accept who the customer really is Horrible moral Toxic work environment Reporting is not up to date

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees with respect and embrace who the customer is. Make investments in technology that will allow employees to preform their jobs better.

    Cato2012-10-26
Found 11 reviews