Books-A-Million - Professional but Laid Back and Low Paying | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Books-A-Million

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"Professional but Laid Back and Low Paying"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Bookseller in Deerfield Beach, FL
Former Employee - Bookseller in Deerfield Beach, FL
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

I worked at Books-A-Million part-time (More than a year)

Pros

- Store Managers tried to work with part-time hour restrictions for students

 - For the most part, customers are polite and courteous

 - No truly stressful or immediate assignments involved in working in a bookstore

Cons

- The work isn't very demanding, but the pay is still minimum wage, which is far too low a wage to pay anyone in this day and age.

 - Company has a policy forbidding booksellers (running the register) from reading at the register. Personally, I found this surprising. Obviously, you don't want the bookseller to continue reading when a customer approaches, but when I am in a bookstore as a customer, I see employees reading as a sign that they enjoy books and will be a reliable resource for recommendations.

 - Company allows 10-15 minute breaks roughly ever 2 hours for smokers, but doesn't allow such breaks for non-smokers. This incentivizes smoking, which is problematic for obvious reasons. The company should simply allow both smokers and non-smokers to have 10-15 minute breaks ever 2 hours to get some fresh air and clear their head.

Advice to Management

I would suggest favoring college students when hiring booksellers. They tend to have a better appreciation of the product being sold and have less of an attitude about being asked to work late hours. I would also suggest that any stores not open the same hours as Barnes & Noble begin operating during those same hours immediately; closing before B&N is just one of many ways to seal BAM's fate as being the next company to go bankrupt after Borders.

Other Employee Reviews for Books-A-Million

  1. Helpful (1)

    "BAM is so desperate to make money they turn customers off"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Barista/Bookseller in Houma, LA
    Former Employee - Barista/Bookseller in Houma, LA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Books-A-Million full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Surrounded by books and coffee
    - Meeting new people
    - Advanced copies of books available
    - Borrow books for free
    - Employee discount
    - Tips (if you're a barista)
    - Flexible scheduling (they do their best to accommodate everyone)

    Cons

    The overall company's attitude toward the employees is poor. Instead of just helping the customer choose books and such, BAM HQ wants the "booksellers" and baristas to shove extras (the discount card, the "free" trial magazine subscriptions, up selling drinks/treats in the cafe, peddling all sorts of random trinkets) down customer's throats. After wasting the customer's time with all of these, you are expected to inform the customer about the satisfaction survey on the receipt. In addition to the extra's metrics, you are rated on feedback - not whether it was good or not, but whether or not they did it. You get "fussed" if customers do not do this. Sorry, but one can not force customers into doing a survey. All of this really brings moral down and dampens the work environment. Plus, all the metrics that need to be tracked, really stress out the managers. Which in turn, stress out the employees.

    Back to the extras: the discount card sales are expected to be a certain percentage every shift. It doesn't matter how many of you customers already own a discount card or even if they purchased a $1.50 coffee. Again, if these metrics aren't good enough you get threatened, "fussed", reprimanded, and even have a Saturday morning training sessions. This is really what spoils it as a good place to work. I can overlook meager pay (especially when it was a job while I went back to college) if I enjoy the job, but BAM's sole focus is the discount card.

    Advice to Management

    I really do not think the founder would appreciate the path BAM has taken. He had a passion for books - not a discount card scheme. I know it's tough to make a buck these days as a bookseller, but such is life in ANY business sector. Maybe if BAM's priorities were about serving the customer instead of shoving extras down their throats, you would see better profits - and improved employee attitude and moral.

    Granted, I understand the premise of the discount card (it's a great numbers boost - while benefiting the customer, for the most part), but to make it the single most important metric of the company is just plain pathetic. If you can't make money as a bookstore/cafe selling books and coffee, it's time to reevaluate your business model and upper management.; something is not right.


  2. "I love to read books"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Book Seller in Lake Charles, LA
    Former Employee - Book Seller in Lake Charles, LA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Books-A-Million part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    20% employee discount on books and coffee

    Cons

    Required to meet sales goals and can't have cell phone on you while working

There are newer employer reviews for Books-A-Million
There are newer employer reviews for Books-A-Million

See Most Recent

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