Von Maur "department managers" Reviews | Glassdoor

Von Maur Reviews

Updated 22 Sep 2019

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Found 865 reviews

2.8
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37%
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38%
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Von Maur CEO James D. von Maur
James D. von Maur
434 Ratings
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Department manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Department Manager in Saint Charles, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur

    Pros

    It was a job that was flexible and great people that worked around you

    Cons

    Management wanted you to be mean to your associates. Only lasted a week as a department manager and had to move jobs cause of the things they asked me to do

    Von Maur2016-04-30
  2. Helpful (16)

    "Paper Tigers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Entry Leve to Executive Manager in Davenport, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Von Maur full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    My coworkers, the product, gaining experience.

    Cons

    My experience of working for Von Maur had its ups and downs. I started at a skilled, entry-level position. Meaning my education and training was taken into account upon my hire. I had management experience in another sector, retail experience and two degrees. I started out on just over $10/hour as an hourly associate. I was managed by managers who have never had a job outside of Von Maur and possess degrees in... things like “visual merchandising” (literally dressing mannequins for store displays or laying out handbags in a case) or “merchandise management” (aka learning how to read a budget report without budget management skills). They have no actual business knowledge, education or experiences. In many cases these managers were educated for 6-8 weeks on a store floor selling in a specific department, then worked for 6-8 weeks as an hourly department manager (scheduler who watches employees and reports to executive managers) then sometimes worked for another few weeks as a floor manager before becoming a buyer, store manager or senior level executive in the .com. This leads to a culture of green under-30’s managers who cover each other’s inadequacies at any cost and are highly defensive of their flawed decision-making skills. Managers are encouraged to tattle on each other and report all flaws, errors or slip ups of direct reports to senior management. When errors are uncovered the responsible individual is belittled and called into the manager’s office to be told off rather than encouraged to fix and learn from the mistake. At every turn you are questioned as an hourly or salaried associate and rarely are you trusted to do your job without micromanaging and hypermagement. The only time this is not the case is when you are assigned a task your manager is incapable to carrying out herself. In that instance you are given no tools, assistance or pathway to success. You are expected to “figure it out” or fail. Failure at VM means you will be belittled by management looked over for promotion and often bullied into “stepping down” from your role into one that is deemed inferior and demeaning by management. There is no room for failure. That is not to say VM has an high standard, thus an intolerance for substandard work. I mean to say there’s no way to succeed unless you make “friends” or ally yourself with the rule makers and say absolutely nothing critical of those in leadership or their decisions. You must whole-heartedly follow their lead and leave nothing questioned or criticized. If you value the weight of your own opinion and expertise you need not apply at VM. If you are “liked” by your manager or someone in senior management there is nothing you cannot get away with. Until the day they no longer like you, then like queen bees, management swarms around you and puts pressure on every inch of your performance until you either break or slip up. If you criticize any decision made by management they get personally mad at you and threaten your job. Recently, a candidate for a management-tracked job was found to not be suitable for the promotion she was seeking. As a result she’s been involuntarily down-graded to a clerical job that wasn’t even an opening in her store. It’s a position they created, never posted and down-graded her into, she wasn’t offered any other option. You are not allowed to speak with your manager’s supervisor in order to express concern at your manager’s performance. I was once very upset about a directive my manager had given me so I attempted to speak with my manager’s supervisor, she directed me back to my manager with the issue, then told my manager what we had discussed. My manager then called me into her office where she was visibly mad, told me off and would not allow me input into the conversation. When she had finished expressing her opinion she let me know she didn’t expect I would be “trying to go over her head” in future. It was very clear to me there would be pay back if I tried to blow the whistle on her sketchy decision-making process going forward. Rules and expectations are a continually moving target at VM. One minute you cannot step into a management role unless you came from the exec training program or had other experience. The next moment they’re hiring a manager who has only had one entry-level job with VM before managing a large department. I understood from day one that VM was a tightly controlled workplace with strict rules but I had no idea how negative this culture could be. You are not allowed to have anything personal at your desk, not a photo, pet rock, drawing your child made, cell phone or water bottle. At first I was ok with this but I realized how prison-like the culture really was. You’re encouraged to report on your coworkers, “loss prevention” aka security is always the eye in the sky. They watched how frequently we took our eyes off our work and how frequently we talked to our coworkers, which coworkers we talked to etc. If we took an extra two minutes at break, if we clocked in before we took our handbags to our lockers etc. If we were chewing gum etc. It was so much worse than being in school. As a result coworkers feel infantilized and act like children. There are stress tantrums, lashings out, blow ups because people want to be trusted to do their jobs and not watched and reprimanded like children. They also want to occasionally laugh with their coworkers and relax in a moment of levity. Working for Von Maur is like life: cruel, hard and short. Managers are not properly trained. If you ask your manager for additional training outside of VM you are immediately told no and belittled for not being the whole package from the start.

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    Advice to Management

    I truly loved my job. I loved my work product. I loved the VM stores and what the VM family stood for. It’s so sad to see what a few bird-brained 20-somethings can do to it when they “grow up” to be VM managers. If the culture would change just a little you would have greater employee retention, satisfaction and staying power. Loosen up! It just might save the company. Having good talent get experience and leave is... only going to continue if you don’t change.

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    Von Maur2016-04-20
  3. "Department Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    One of the best retailers I have worked for. I worked for Von Maur for four years. I liked the customers most. I had no problems with punctuality or absenteeism. I have always felt that customers come first.

    Cons

    The Department Manager position should be called a lead position. You do not get to recruit or interview candidates. The technologies Von Maur uses are inadequate for building customer relationships and driving sales volume.

    Advice to Management

    Innovate and empower. Get a new 401k management company. 1 to 3% growth on investment is a joke.

    Von Maur2016-02-29
  4. Helpful (11)

    "Better Pay But More Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lancome Counter Manager in Livonia, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur full-time

    Pros

    Von Maur is in a class of its own. As an employee you can take pride in a beautiful building to work on, great lighting, marble floors and a constant piano player to create a beautiful atmosphere for your shopper. The pay is higher than any retailer I've worked at, and they demand that you be professional at all times. There's also a seemingly open door policy when it comes to any issues you may have; the door is... always open. Von Maur is also one of the last retailers to really adhere to great customer service. They have a gifts dept, alterations, and a customer service desk that even does gift wrapping for free all year long. You don't see that anymore. I found it amazingly convienent to have a work and home life balance, alot more simplified than other retailers, no holidays and they close at 4pm on eves. Even as a manager I could work my 40-45 hours and not be exhausted. and i only had the minimum responsibility to close two nights a week. I found it incredibly easy to be home at a decent time and still come to work the next day, no matter the time.

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    Cons

    In cosmetics department, there's constant mundane busy work, they insist on a paper trail. You are constantly expected to make phone calls to customers and recruit from within the store. The bad thing about recruiting is that we have set such a relaxing, non-competitive atmosphere for our customers, that they are not receptive to you recruiting while they are shopping for a new handbag. Its basically a closed door.... Cosmetics department manager is a constant open door. The location in Livonia has been there for twelve years and before I'd left the count for cosmetics department managers was at 32. That's insane!!! and it doesn't necessarily create stability for the associates. How do you expect rules or new methods to stick if the manager changes like the wind blows? Also, along with the busy work, you're expected a lot of times to pull money out of thin air--but I digress because that comes with the territory of a competitive cosmetics department. The paper trail is tremendously unnecessary. Incident reports for returns instead of a POS system that can flag fraudulent returns and customers. Paper for clientele instead of a POS system that can handle 500+ customer info. UNSAFE PRACTICES because in the event of a presell circumstance, a customers card info and address is stapled to their purchase until the day of said event. It's unsafe and not practical!!! Also, the amount of investigations that goes on at that store is ridiculous. Keep your head down and do your job and hopefully you won't get caught in the storm. (Investigations are on the management by the way.) If I had a chance to do it over again, I would because of the pay but the way this company is stuck in the stone age is enough to make a grown man cry. Be prepared to be balls to the walls if you're in cosmetics because where the store is only required to contact two customers a month, you will be contacting hundreds. Don't believe me, just watch.

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    Advice to Management

    WILL SOMEONE PLEASE STOP HIRING STEPFORD WIVES TO WORK AT THE LIVONIA LOCATION??!!! IT"S BEYOND UNSETTLING; THIS IS 2016, DIVERSITY NEEDS TO BE REPRESENTED!!!! WE CAN"T ALL BE BLOND HAIRED, BLUE EYED, SLIM JIMS.

    Von Maur2016-02-01
  5. Helpful (1)

    "Horrible upper managment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Department Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Von Maur part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good pay, amazing coworkers, option time off, excellent benefits, good employee discount, can check the schedule and request time off from home

    Cons

    Horrible upper managment, I was a department manager and on salary and some weeks my part time employees made more than me, was threatened that I could not leave the day unless all duties were done even after working an 11 hour day.

    Advice to Management

    Be nice to your employees, remember that we can't always control everything, when you say you will do something actually do it

    Von Maur2016-01-15
  6. "Cosmetics Department Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cosmetics Department Manager in Ann Arbor, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    No crazy holiday hours, Sunday Time and a half, good pay rate

    Cons

    some favoratisom Department managers are not given any real authority.

    Von Maur2015-08-25
  7. Helpful (3)

    "Bad Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Beauty Advisor 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Von Maur full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Very nice facility. Nice products. Pay. Time & 1/2 on Sundays.

    Cons

    Tyrannical management. My department manager had no idea how to do her job. She was rude, and disrespectful and went on at nausium about her personal life. All she did was stand around in our department putting us down. Upper management completely backed her. She was a minion. Unreachable goals. You would be told your monthly goal but then your hourly goal would figure out to be 1,000's more than the monthly... goal. If they didn't like you or questioned them you were out. They played favorites. My store manager accepted gifts from one of my coworkers, including a Chanel handbag. There is room to move up on the company. However it's only for employees who management likes.

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    Advice to Management

    Professional, respectful, trained managers. Don't play favorites. We are all equal and should be treated accordingly. Don't throw up our salaries to us. Especially when you are benefiting greatly from our work.

    Von Maur2015-08-12
  8. Helpful (2)

    "department manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Von Maur

    Pros

    time and a half on sundays, ability to work overtime if you want to

    Cons

    Everything else. Nothing positive about this company. Management are the worst people ive ever came into contact with. department managers have no ability to even be a "manager" because you have to go through a chain of command to get anything done. this company promises you alot and then tears you down.

    Advice to Management

    Not that they would listen away, but you need to get back to basics of what Von Maur really stands for, not what YOU stand for. Do whats right for the store but also keep your hard working associates in mind and coach and train them, instead of throwing them into their department and expecting them to be able to handle everything, and then turning them away or shaming them if they come asking for help.

    Von Maur2015-07-27
  9. Helpful (4)

    "Depressing."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Full Time Sales Associate in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Time and a half on Sunday's, Holiday's off and no Black Friday craziness.

    Cons

    Rude management. My department manager treated me like crap. I have a college degree and being treated like I'm 16 years old by a woman with no higher level education was the last straw for me at Von Maur. I spent most of my time standing around doing NOTHING!

    Advice to Management

    Instead of JUST pointing out your employees flaws, encourage them when they're doing well too. The constant nagging just makes it seem like you're insecure in your position by trying to dominate sales associates.

    Von Maur2015-07-08
  10. Helpful (3)

    "Don't get your hopes up"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Lake Saint Louis, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Von Maur

    Pros

    Closed on major holidays. No coupons to deal with. Customers are usually friendly and well mannered. Pay is decent depending on the department you are in. A great place to work in retail but it's still retail.

    Cons

    Favoritism is a huge problem at my location. Management will tell you there is a lot of opportunity to advance within the company when you are first hired but there is no incentive to do so. My commission as a sales associate averages to be more pay than a department manager and you must be a department manger before you can advance. If you want to advance you have to move locations because of "moral" reasons.... Turnover is obnoxious. It makes sense though, I would not suggest going into this job with a long term mindset. Unless you enjoy feeling like you cannot express yourself to management or fellow employees. You have to "adjust" your personality to the Von Maur standard and just accept anything anyone tells you without question. It makes me feel like a robot or a stepford wife, especially having to wear the tights and skirts or dresses everyday.

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    Advice to Management

    Wake up. I say this in a caring empathetic way, I know this is your job and you may have spent a lot of time and effort to get were you are in your career, but please remember what it's like outside of the Von Maur bubble. This facade that you all put on is not real life, and I really hope that you can realize that there are much more important problems in the world than running a retail store that people face... everyday. No one needs anything you sell, no one needs your store or the people in it, service is such a main priority to the company and yet they serve nothing of actual real world value. What are they actually doing for the community? You all get wrapped up in the small Von Maur outlook, and I hope one day you start looking at the bigger picture and do something of value.

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    Von Maur2015-06-13
Found 865 reviews