Borders - Wonderful place for art, literature, film, & music nerds | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Borders

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Helpful (1)

"Wonderful place for art, literature, film, & music nerds"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Seller in Orange, CA
Former Employee - Seller in Orange, CA
Recommends
No opinion of CEO

Pros

A great place to keep up with all of the newest books, music, and movies. Very laid-back atmosphere, great coffee, good music (when employees are allowed to choose), and overall a very eccentric and interesting bunch of coworkers and customers to help and work with.

Cons

It has been over a year since I worked at Borders, however in the last few months of my employment it was being transitioned into a very different kind of store. When I first started, I enjoyed Borders for its lesser-known titles recommended by employees, great obscure bands playing in the store, and that it was a place that catered to people who wanted to find these hidden treasures. Now it's all big titles, a table full of best sellers, pop music on the speakers.

Advice to Management

Some of the smaller employee benefits, like free coffee and other discounts, were slowly being reduced or taken away altogether. These little things were great morale boosters, so that was too bad.

Other Employee Reviews for Borders

  1. "Company culture has disintegrated into sinking ship mentality."

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

    Pros

    Working within the stores, it's a stimulating environment with a ton of different challenges.
    Good benefits for a retail outfit.
    Because management can mean so much from store to store, if you don't like one store, it's not that hard to transfer to one that you do like.

    Cons

    A focus on bottom line profits that is not in line with reality has gutted morale. A firing policy that was brutal under George Jones (he gutted the supervisors from every store), combined with an ever increasing workload, combined with lower and lower payroll hours made it impossible for stores to meet goals that even made them shoppable. We lost a lot of long term loyal customers under George Jones.

    Advice to Management

    The only way to save brick and mortar bookstores is to build customer loyalty within individual communities.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Absolutely Awful Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Concord, NH
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Concord, NH
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fellow employees are very knowledgeable and well rounded about books, a fun culture to be a part of (as long as that culture excludes management), employee discount is useful, knowledge of products and releases before the public is nice, got a $20 gift card once for having the lowest shrink in the district.

    Cons

    This has to be one of the worst places I have ever worked. Management (at least at my store) has absolutely no respect for their employees, and only respects them as long as Borders Rewards signups are high. With the incredibly low wages, one would think that the work load was comparable, but it's not. Increasingly, I've found that I have had to do a large project by myself in a limited amount of time (all while selling the latest "make" item and forcing Borders Rewards onto customers). I once had to organize all of the magazines with one other employee in the middle of another understaffed Saturday, and we were expected to have the rack finished and cleaned off within a couple hours.

    Upper management always has sky-high sales goals that we *have* to meet "or else". My store must be a lucky one since we often meet or come close to meeting the sales goal. Normally that would be a good thing that would be rewarded either with a Thank-You letter or small bonus reward/gift card, but that never happens. Instead, we get chastised for not meeting the "Number of Items per Transaction" metric that is expected, which is even more outrageous than weekly sales!

    Store management is a joke. While we have been lucky and have had the same managers for a while, we have been unlucky in having some of the worst managers ever. I've had management actively abuse employees "[b]ecause I felt like being mean spirited that day." Time off is almost impossible to get, and you're chastised for taking time off and not dedicating your entire existence to pulling this store out of it's immense debt. The supervisors that work under the management are the real people that drive the store forward and make it a somewhat tolerable work environment. The store managers are incredibly rude to customers, inconvenient to talk to, and are especially abusive to employees.

    As a cashier, I'm expected to give out a 5-minute speech to each customer, asking them if they'd like to make a book/coffee donation, sign up for Borders Rewards, and if they don't have a card, I have make ANOTHER 5-minute speech persuading them to join. And if I don't make sure that every single customer, no matter their story or their reason, has a Borders Rewards card attached to their transaction, I am yelled at by management because store sales go down. Do we make an extra commission for every card we give away? If not, then there's no reason to treat me like that!

    Another commenter posted "The customer is always right, no matter what", and I have never heard a more true statement about a store in my life. A friend of mine that works with me was once had a customer throw a book at her because the customer didn't have a receipt for a return. Management did nothing about this customer at the time, only escorting them out after the customer started yelling at the manager on duty. My friend was later yelled at by another manager for not having any Borders Rewards sign-ups that day, despite being traumatized and assaulted by a customer. There is no respect here.

    Finally, the equipment that I have to use is a joke. The computer systems are so out of date that it's not funny. Even the management and supervisors agree that what we have to work with is a joke, often exclaiming at the fact that we just got new glass to replace the horribly scratched and marred glass that used to cover the scanners. Upgrade to a system that at LEAST accepts a Debit card and PIN, instead of running everything as credit. Computers like this were replaced years ago by almost everyone else in the industry, and the fact that we aren't following suit concerns me. (Plus the fact that I'm a Computer Science major has a factor in that). The inventory and ordering tracking applications that we have to use are awful, unintuitive, and slooow! Customers are often angry at the fact that they have to wait so long just to research where their book is located, let alone FINDING it on the unorganized shelves!

    It pains me dearly to have to write all of this. Borders was, and still is, one of my favorite stores to go to... As a customer. I was at first very excited to get this job, but soon realized how foolish I was in thinking that. I now have next to no social life since all of my weekend time goes to working long hours at Borders for little pay and no growth or incentive for progress or initiative. My own parents have seen how depressed I have become working at this place, and want me to find another job as I go back to college.

    Advice to Management

    Take management classes and learn how to run a business properly. Foster an environment where "make" items aren't driven by publishers paying you off, but by recommendations from the actual store employees. Customers love listening to employee recommendations, and it's easy to recommend an item that I actually LIKE, rather than a book I'm forced to sell to meet this week's ever-changing goal. Also, allow the customer breathing room. Instead of forcing us employees to bother and disturb them, leave them their peace and allow them to browse at their leisure. They aren't there to be talked to into buying something we want them to buy, they're there to find the right book for their enjoyment, and possibly buy more if helped by staff that isn't intimidated or afraid to do anything outside the box.

There are newer employer reviews for Borders
There are newer employer reviews for Borders

See Most Recent

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