Barnes & Noble
3.8 out of 5 stars.
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Barnes & Noble Employee Reviews

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3.8Work-Life Balance

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okay place to work

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pretty monotonous but overall not that bad. Friendly coworkers, good employee discount. The work environment is filled with nice people.low pay for the workload
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Great coworkers but no upward mobility

Great coworkers, great regional BDMs, great folks at the top of BD. Amazing discount. Store management rocked. Was able to create great relationships with the school districts. The pay can’t sustain a family. They want BD people but don’t want to pay BD wages. I could almost justify working there with their old commission structure but then they gutted it. They also take two months to pay out the quarterly commissions. The benefits are ok but they are changing the model this upcoming year, the more you make the more you pay. In the three years I worked there, I had one bookseller that hadn’t had heat, a/c or hot water. She couldn’t afford it. I have a manger that lives in government housing because she isn’t paid a living wage. When I started here, we did a ton of community outreach but we don’t really do that anymore. Starting salary is around $42,000 no negotiations either. Pay raises yearly 2%-5%. It’s a great sales job for someone straight out of college that’s living at home or doesn’t have too many expenses. They have a new purchasing portal and it’s a pain. Lots of red tape for schools to use it but they’re pushing BDMs to push the schools into it. Some school districts are not happy with it because they have policies and procedures that need to be followed. The technology is super outdated. Get ready to work on a CRM that doesn’t communicate with the Volume Ordering System. HR is kind of a whole other mess. Keep good records, they almost didn’t pay me a large portion of commission had I not escalated it. They will not pay out vacation when you resign.

Pros

Great coworkers, great store managers, wonderful mentors, great regional BDMs, great leadership at the top of Business Development

Cons

Low wages, low commissions, high expectations, HR is not wonderful
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3 stars

What is the best part of working at the company?The discount is quite honestly the best part. That and I do enjoy most of my coworkers on a non-managerial level.What is the most stressful part about working at the company?There is a total lack of communication between the managers. There is a level of pettiness and anger that affects everyone in the store coming from that. What is the work environment and culture like at the company?It masquerades as a positive place where the top staff wants you to have a wonderful time. In reality, if you show up, do your job, and do the basic relationship work you will have an easier time. What is a typical day like for you at the company?Show up, get my meeting, and get assigned the project that needs to be worked on. Communicating with other booksellers on what's happening in the store and if anyone needs support in their work.
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Awesome employee discounts

It was super helpful having the discount as a book lover! I loved the management and my coworkers were the absolute best to be around. Regulars at the store were annoying sometimes though.

Pros

Great Management, discount food

Cons

struggle to get shifts as a part-timer
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Productive and fun workplace

It’s a pretty easy and fun job once you get the hang of it. There aren’t many baristas working so there will be moments where you work by yourself but overall it’s a good job.
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If you love books and people, this is the place for you.

I love working for Barnes & Noble overall and have met some really great people. The best part of the job is that motivated people can move up easily. The hardest part of the job is that management can be disorganized at times.

Pros

Excellent employee discount and benefits

Cons

Store needs updating regarding cafe and registers
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Fun place to work. Long hours

As a manager you work a lot of hours and are on salary which wasn't much at the the time . There wasn't a lot of training they kinda threw you in the position and told you your responsibilities and you learn as you go more or less being hired on as a manager having never worked for the company and ultimately being trained mostly by the employees who worked under you was a little uncomfortable and at times challenging for sure especially since some had applied for the position . It really was a fun place to work though and everyone there has a love for what they sell you can always find someone that has knowledge or interest in anything you as a customer might be looking for. Everyone I worked with was helpful and kind and pretty much really enjoyed working there. I didn't even mind the long hours it was mainly due to the fact I started right before the Christmas holiday season. I would have stayed longer had the pay been higher but with the amount of hours it barely met minimum wage requirements most pay periods.
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Good workplace

I loved the management when I worked at the Oberlin Bookstore. They made us feel like a team and cared about their employees very well. This was a job I will never forget.
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A good place to get a start

The majority of the staffing is inclusive towards LGBT+ community, and for the most part a comfortable place to experiment with your identity (all of course depends on your coworkers). The pay isn’t the best, but they do accommodate well for wanted hours, and it’s a very comfortable environment to learn new things in, with plenty of opportunities (barista, bookselling, cashiering, handling orders). I’ve worked at two locations and the first was a wonderful experience, the second had a couple of kinks due to HR issues and staffing, but that’s always to vary on where you’re located. If you’re looking for something relatively simple and not hoping to pay anything too expensive with your paychecks, I definitely suggest Barnes & Noble. Discounts are good (books/café 40%, toys/games 30%, music/tv 20%) but there aren’t any free shift drinks in the café other than a small tea/coffee with no upgrades.
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Fun job, terrible management

I loved working with books, however the management for this store has always been awful. Corporate was always so out of touch with reality. Low pay. Maybe things have improved in the past five years?
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Barnes and Noble

Good entry level job, very fast paced and busy. I worked as a Barista, the only thing I would change is more flexibility with work hours. I worked as a part time student and I wished management could be more flexible with my school schedule.
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Disappointing but great discount

Corporate retail chain, not a cool book environment. Terrible pay for the amount of responsibility. Little room to move up. Management is reluctant to promote but expects the same amount of responsibility. Very little communication between management and booksellers. The discount is good and the people that work there are cool.
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An overall average experience

I remember looking forward to applying and I was able to secure a job at the location pretty quickly. I've always loved this company however working there was of course a whole different experience. I applied as a bookseller but was asked to work as a barista. I was hesitant at first but agreeing to work as a barista is a decision that I do not regret at all. The people at my location were positive, booksellers and baristas alike. However, after a couple of months, it was clear to me that one of the biggest challenges with working at this location was the management. It was very evident that the store manager had no sense of sympathy or belonging for the store and its staff. Unfortunately, I believe that this affected the supervisors as well. I had heard early on that my coworkers had run into problems with the manager but I had not experienced anything personally until around the time of my separation with the company due to a better job opportunity. The manager was very much someone who worked for the spotlight. I did not feel that he cared enough to help his staff out when it came to addressing concerns and I felt it made many of my coworkers miserable. I wish this experience was better overall especially because I loved being a barista and I felt that most of my supervisors cared. However, there were a lot of times when I felt like I wasn't getting enough pay for all of the stress. As much as I miss my friends and certain supervisors, I am very happy that I took the better job opportunity and I would not go back to working for this company.
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In general, a good place to work

Barnes and noble as a company has grown leaps and bounds since I started there in 2015. It’s a lot easier to move up within the company now. Pay is not the best.
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Fun at first

Working here was promising when I started but after 2 months I'm already looking for a new job and so are the people they hired along side me. Management is unyielding and assumes the worst of you, even if you have given them no reason to. Pay is very low. Store is very dirty, espresso in employee only areas like the break room- despite having a custodian. High turnover, low patience when training.

Pros

Everyone is a book nerd

Cons

Does not care about what happens to you outside of work hours, not even emergencies.
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Great coworkers, poor management and pay

Pay is very poor, barely above minimum wage. manageable work load but management at this location is extremely unprofessional. not a diverse store and management treated the very few employees of color poorly.
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Definitely not your average retail

You get a big mix of customers and 80% are awesome, but depending on location they can be a a nuisance. The managers are usually okay, it’ll depend on the store and certain managers will be clique-y. Your co-workers and the customers that you click with are kind of worth it though. And the discount is amazing. You can have colored hair and tattoos and they’re very lax with dress code.

Pros

Discount, Co-Workers

Cons

Some Customers, Some Managers
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awesome work place

i have a long history of retail jobs and this is by far the best place i have ever worked! when i come into the store the environment is so relaxed...yes we have things that need to be finished by deadlines, but nobody is breathing down your neck or screaming at you if you mess up. REALLY cool place to work!
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Repetitive but fun

You hand out drinks, take orders and refill the cafe. Thats pretty much it. Management is kind and actually listens to complains ir concerns. Customers arent great.
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Fun work place, low pay

I loved working at the barnes and noble cafe for many reasons. The customers were great for the most part, the discount was also a big plus, and the job itself will keep you productive. You will always need to be doing something, whether it be baking, serving customers, making drinks, etc. However, it seemingly was ALWAYS understaffed which made it hard on the employees. We get paid much less than Starbucks baristas, yet we do almost all the same things…if not more.

Pros

40% discount cafe items, 3 breaks on an 8 hour shift, great customers, fun job

Cons

Constantly understaffed, can be very stressful
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Fun Work Environment

Being a bookseller at barnes and noble was really fun. It gets busy around the holidays but any other time it’s pretty much smooth sailing. If you’re a fan of reading books I highly recommend it because the employee discount comes in handy. Coworkers are nice and management is easy going.
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Overall rating

Based on 5,926 reviews

Ratings by category

3.8 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.1 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
3.0 out of 5 stars for Job Security/Advancement
3.5 out of 5 stars for Management
3.8 out of 5 stars for Culture
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