Barnes & Noble

  www.barnesandnoble.com
  www.barnesandnoble.com

Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated 20 December 2014
Updated 20 December 2014
1,186 Reviews
3.4
1,186 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Michael Huseby
174 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's nice to get a decent discount on books and have access to the titles (in 42 reviews)

  • The one thing that I can say about this company is that you get a pretty great employee discount (in 108 reviews)


Cons
  • While the pay is a little above minimum wage, the hours make for some very small paychecks (in 79 reviews)

  • The company had some serious problems that turned a great part-time job into a so-so (in 61 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Working conditions, Worker Relations, and Benefits- unbeatable in retail

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager in New Orleans, LA (US)
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager in New Orleans, LA (US)

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Managers are scrutinized and judged on their relationships with booksellers constantly. National, regional, and district focus is put on employee relations and promoting a great work environment. This gives one of the most welcoming atmospheres I've ever been in for work. And, of course, bookstores draw interesting employees. Recent product changes have drawn the attention of more extroverted, salesmanship driven applicants, which brings a great balance, but does not overwhelm the more quiet, explorative base of the usual applicants.

    The company also spends on employee work conditions, offering paid time off to every employee that has been with the company for six months, offering larger than average discounts in store, special weeks of increased discounts, partnerships with other major services trading discount (e.g. sprint and AT&T, even stuff like flowers.com), offers salary advances, phenomenal insurance to full-time employees, constant bookseller community communications and recognition, and a California standards-based work/break system.

    Overall, you cannot beat the usual environment at Barnes and Noble.

    Being a national chain, surviving the recession and the four horsemen of amazon, and opening to more product lines shows longevity for business. A concentration on business ethics, research, and transparency gives great experience to all levels of employment that you just don't find with many retailers. Booksellers are fully in the know about sales, trends, company direction, goals, short fallings, almost everything affecting the company. You really become invested and part of a company, in the real sense of the word,not just a labor purchase.

    Company moves people up from within. There is quick vertical movement in the retail chain from a good training program and tendency to trust in employees.

    Cons

    Full-time positions have drastically dropped in past two years. Entry level positions can no longer be full-time. This has left the company with a vacuum of expertise on the lower end. Though they have confronted this problem head on with a new streamlined training program, it will take time for the previous level of acumen to be brought back into the company.

    Managers for Barnes and Noble did not need to worry about turn over so much in the past due to the strong focus the company invests in booksellers, but with recent organizational changes, it will take time for managers to handle the new business model. Task effort and allocation has not been reduced in the meantime so it has take longer than necessary to culture proficiency.

    Also, very low starting wages. Stead raises, yearly, not impressive without promotion in the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management that booksellers interact with tries very hard to meet company standards, very high set standards. If a bookseller uses all the resources available to them from corporate, they will never have trouble with management. Corporate will always lean to the side of the bookseller. Managers are very much held accountable to ethical decisions regarding bookseller work conditions.

    Advice to the company would be to draw more towards core sales and hand selling. We can pull fluidity towards our digital developments better by attacking the margins, the upselling, than with looking for the next bog trend with product acquisition. Pulling away from a consignment model is leaving the retail side open to risk, which we inherently have to carry already in the digital branch by breaking into the market. If we lowered loss on acquisitions, increased sales marginally, we could direct the money towards marketing our digital devices better. Our competitors have inferior products, but are beating us on word of mouth.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    My coworkers and manager were friendly and great to work with so no day working there was ever a bore.

    Former Employee - Bookseller in New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Bookseller in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Discounts
    Occasional conversations with customers
    Clean up during store closing is simple- Placing books back where they belong

    Cons

    Just like any job, deal with a difficult customer sometimes

    Recommends
  3.  

    A great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Strong history of internal promotion. If you work hard and continue to grow and learn you can be promoted. A respectful environment.

    Cons

    There is a lot of detail to learn here.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Bookseller

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Temecula, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Temecula, CA (US)

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent working atmosphere for part time employees, book worms and self styled geeks of all types. If you have an excellent customer service attitude and a lot of energy, this is the job for you.

    Cons

    Hours will vary. Slow times of the year you may only get 8 hours a week. Be prepared to work extremely hard during the holiday season. This job is more physical than you think.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep communication lines open with all employees. If they are under stress due to lack of hours, try to be accommodating.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    Just Great

    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time

    Pros

    Fast paced and ever changing

    Cons

    None while I was working

  7.  

    Great atmoshere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    good employee discount, fair salary

    Cons

    no chance for advancement, work holidays

    Recommends
  8.  

    Overall a good atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Head Cashier in Hackensack, NJ (US)
    Former Employee - Head Cashier in Hackensack, NJ (US)

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, 50% off cafe items, friendly staff, room for advancement, benefits for F/T.

    Cons

    Learn the job on the fly, limited training, holidays can get crazy though time moves quicker, low starting pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do a bit better job discussing promotion from within. P/T employees should get some tier of benefits.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Best Retail Work Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Barista; Bookseller
    Former Employee - Barista; Bookseller

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Managers willing to work with you on schedule. Pay equal to or better than most retail positions. Managers take time to make things fun for employees by providing food or creating team building activities.

    Cons

    Cafe work can be stressful. Few opportunities for promotion.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    pretty decent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cafe Server in Fayetteville, NC (US)
    Current Employee - Cafe Server in Fayetteville, NC (US)

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    honestly, I love my coworkers, and the environment is super progressive as a whole. I'm super over-qualified to work as a cafe server but i stay here because they're cool with tattoos/piercings and very LGBTQ friendly, even in the conservative neck of north carolina (fayetteville). The customers are hit or miss, some are super nice and some are not so nice to put it kindly, but i've never worked anywhere else so i'm not sure if that's only in military towns where everyone has a transient mentality.

    Cons

    benefits suck, well rather, lack thereof I should say. Pay sucks, in fayetteville at least. Most of the managers on book floor are incompetent, like how they got hired I'd love to know. As i've mentioned earlier, the customers are mostly irritable retired military so they're mean and you've stained their day by your mere existence and the fact that you're a millenial. Besides that, though, it's alright.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    honestly, benefits would be super. Corporate Starbucks employees get a 401k, bluecross blueshield insurance, free take home coffee grounds every week, free coffee. Stop making me pay half price for my coffee. It's insulting on top of the fact that I get NO TIPS. They seriously need to work on that. let me put out a tip jar. don't charge me for the coffee. that's all I ask.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Cafe Employee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cafe Server in Atlanta, GA (US)
    Former Employee - Cafe Server in Atlanta, GA (US)

    I worked at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    I worked as a cafe server for a period of several months. It was an okay experience.

    Cons

    Demanding customers, not appropriately staffed during peak times

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have more than one employee working during peak hours

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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