Find companies:
Barnes & Noble
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
746 reviews

Barnes & Noble Employer Reviews

Company Attributes

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Compensation/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Job Culture
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Peaceful, positive work environment with a heap of downsides
Bookseller (Former Employee), MassachusettsJanuary 28, 2015
Pros: positive work environment, wonderful co-workers, great atmosphere, fun job, employee discount
Cons: no benefits for part time, little to no job security, minimal pay and hours, frequent poor communication
Barnes & Noble is, without a doubt, a really upbeat, positive environment to be in whether it be as a customer or employee. It's always clean and pristine and low-volume, light music is playing in the background. The staff is usually always pleasant and very knowledgeable about its products.

A little known fact about employment at Barnes & Noble are the job titles; essentially, everyone is either a bookseller or barista, for those locations with a Starbucks cafe within. The term they use, bookseller, is a wide one; your roles can vary between the front lines or support for the cash registers, the information desk, shipping and receiving or simple floor assistance (walking around, straightening, interacting with customers.) It's hardly ever dull if you're a bookworm or just like the idea of working in a book store. There are moments of boredom and all you can really do is try and look busy or involved in something, but those periods hardly lasted long. The ultimate downside is that if you're a cashier, don't expect to be able to leave the area and help a customer locate a book. You're practically glued to your register.

Barnes & Noble is one of those employers that has a "push this" concept and that comes by way of the Barnes & Noble Membership and often around the holidays, gift cards. There is no commission or bonus compensation, but everyone, primarily when on cashier duty, has a quota for getting customers to sign up for the membership or renew any pending ones. Management won't usually reprimand you for not meeting a quota as long as you make a continuous effort, but aside – more... from the Nook, memberships are a big thing for them.

The customers that tend to frequent the store are some of the most friendly and peaceful people I've met, especially in a retail environment. The regulars tend to know what they want, usually know about any promotions and don't have to be convinced to renew their membership. The once-and-awhile customers tend to have an idea what they want, but will usually need guidance or recommendations. The "I'm only here during the holidays" customers are some of the most difficult, as they're in a rush, usually unfriendly or easily pestered, so pushing the store promotions with these characters is often a difficult and headache-earning task.

Management, in my experience, was overall pleasant but also an enigma. I sensed some heavy tension between two management employees and getting to know them as co-workers and just to get a feel for their personality was tough. I almost felt shunned in a sense due to little interaction, while interaction with fellow booksellers was abundant. Maybe it was just because I was a seasonal hire and they didn't want to bother getting to know me in the event that I didn't stay post-holiday, or it was just their nature to be slightly abrasive toward new employees. They were friendly, for the most part, but really kept you at arms length and any conversations one managed to start didn't last long. The two other management employees as well as my fellow booksellers were some of the friendliest people I'd ever met and really made me feel welcome and it felt like a second family, really. It was a really positive environment and there wasn't a day that I said, "I really don't want to go to work today." It was always pleasant.

The hardest part of the job was basically lack of communication. There were times where I exercised common sense and good judgement when making last-minute decisions that couldn't be paused for advisement and the efforts weren't acknowledged. The two, more "abrasive" managers often had me do something and then sort of reprimand me because the outcome wasn't what they expected. For example, there was a time during the Christmas week where my register needed to be counted. The store manager told me to keep ringing out customers as there was a line and later reprimanded me for letting the register collect so much money over the limit. It was a simple case of poor communication and contradiction, but it really left me with a sour experience.

Job security doesn't really exist anymore, especially in retail environments. With 99% of the United States being "at-will" employment, the only time you'll ever have job security is if your position has some sort of contract or policy that states that at will employment will not be regarded. At will employment basically means you can be fired/terminated/discharged/laid off what-have-you for any or no reason at all. With Barnes & Noble being such a difficult place to get into for employment, the people who are fortunate enough to be hired are avid readers and bookworms and don't wish to leave, but will often pick up a second job to make ends meet.

The only chance new employees have is to start off seasonally during the holidays and hope there's an open position afterward. Even then, you'll still be working for minimum wage pay with minimal hours. There's no such thing as full-time in retail, really, unless you're part of management and even then, sometimes full-time is only reserved for the store manager and the assistant manager. Which means you get zero benefits as a part-time employee aside from the employee discount.

The downside to working seasonally is that unlike most stores who just ask you if you would like to stay, Barnes & Noble has seasonal hires re-apply for permanent positions. I was given inaccurate instructions on how to apply internally and as such, my application was not received and missed my opportunity to continue my employment.

Overall, though, the job was really enjoyable. My fellow booksellers were absolutely fabulous and I really cherished my time working with them, management included even if some of them weren't always pleasant. They're really good people regardless and really work hard to ensure that Barnes & Noble maintains the standards it always has in providing the ultimate experience for readers. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Having passed productive workmanship
Book seller (Former Employee), Monroe-NJJanuary 28, 2015
The work and assignments given are very much strict to finish in working hrs.

The main stream of learning ...just be sure for all measured safety first..next is be concentrate in work only

Had experience very good management Team, including of Supervisor.

All co workers were mild and helpful nature.

At the most all job was at appropriate level of capacity.

I was enjoying my job at most enjoyable spirit.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
all the differnt drinks.
Barista/Cashier (Current Employee), Jonesboro, ARJanuary 27, 2015
at first there were so many types and variety of hot and cold drinks i was pretty over whelmed but the workers and managers were all to happy to help out. the costumers are grate as well as the workers i really cant say I dislike any of them there all so helpfully and willing to assist when help is needed
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Productive place to work with individuals enjoying life
Barista/Customer Service/Cashier (Former Employee), DenverJanuary 27, 2015
Pros: different positions within
Cons: instability of hours
Work was very predictable. Management was top notch and I would be happy to work for them again. Co-workers were professional. The hardest part of the job was the lack of steady hours, or a steady schedule. The most enjoyable part is assisting people to find their interests in books.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Strong Relationships
COMMUNITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Current Employee), Denver, ColoradoJanuary 26, 2015
Pros: smarts
Cons: no advancement
It is easy to work at one company for 18 years when it is Barnes & Noble. This company has had to reinvent, adjust and adapt many times over the years. In that sense, I have worked for many variations of B&N. It is a pleasure to work with such well read, adventurous and enjoyable professionals.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Excellent Job
Bookseller (Former Employee), Columbia, SCJanuary 25, 2015
A typical day at work including coming in and getting a stack of book orders to fills. You go through and find the books, then take them to be boxed up. Occasionally, customers in the store will ask where to find something, and you direct them to it. The co-workers were really nice and they will help you if you ask. The managers want you work hard and fast but they are relaxed about the job.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Not the best company for those not in management
Trade Bookseller (Former Employee), New Haven, CTJanuary 24, 2015
For those working for minimum wage, it's not the fun coffee house bookshop you're thinking of. It's not a lot of work, mostly boring, and not a great place to shine as far as customer service. They do hire within, which is great, but it's not as easy to move forward.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Work with really interesting people. If you are a reader, this might be perfecct for you.
Assistant Store Manager (Former Employee), ColoradoJanuary 21, 2015
Pros: you get to read the books (but not on the job). half price coffee. great people to work with.
Cons: most new hires are part time, open availability is almost a requirement, scheduling can be wildly inconsistent with no guarantees of hours or shifts, salary is not great.
The hourly pay is somewhat on the low end for retail, but the job really isn't that hard either. Both customers and fellow employees are a cut above what you will find at most big box stores. You will work alongside many interesting overqualified people with advanced degrees who, for one reason or another, landed here. The quality of management varies quite a bit from store to store but on average, they are a pretty solid group. The training is much better than it used to be for both managers and booksellers. Still, much of the training is self-guided and self-motivated and those who take responsibility for their own training will get it, those who don't won't. The job gets more varied and interesting as you move up through the ranks.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Barnes and Noble
Assistant Store Manager (Current Employee), CAJanuary 19, 2015
The company is in transition and some employees miss the old days. The industry is changing and people need to accept that it will never be the same. Management is devoted to the staff. They show a genuine interest in the employees. The coworkers are intelligent and educated which makes for good conversation. The hardest part of the job is accomplishing all the work with the amount of labor given to do it. It usually isn't a problem except when you have a bad week on sales. The best part of the job is the coworkers and the customers. They are the cream of the crop as it comes to retail. One downside is upper management doesn't leave the company so there are few opportunities to go beyond merchandise manager.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Productive and nice place for to learn and practice about the job. excellent benefits as medical, dental, vacations, sick days, personal days. Celebra
QC Inspector (Current Employee), Monroe, NJJanuary 17, 2015
Pros: we have two breaks and can rest.
Cons: far away from my house. some times a lot of traffic.
Productive and nice place for to learn and practice about the job.
excellent benefits as medical, dental, vacations, sick days, personal days.
Celebrations like family day and Christmas day with nice parties and gifts.
Safe place to work.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Work
Cashier (Former Employee), Orlando, FLJanuary 17, 2015
This was my first job I did a little bit of everything for this company even as a cashier I had to clean bathrooms. management is ok didn't pay me for some work hours one time.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
A nice place to work but in need of management overhaul
Barnes and Noble Café Lead (Former Employee), Bridgewater, NJJanuary 16, 2015
Pros: i had a good discount on books and cafe items and a good team to work with
Cons: toxic management, no promotions, low pay, low appreciation.
I worked in the cafe and was the one and only male in the department. The cafe manager was pretty much there so she could retire at when the time came. I did my best but only got a small promotion to shift supervisor. Truth is, I ran circles around my boss and she either felt threatened by my efforts or at a loss to give me more credit for the positive changes I was making in the department. In any case, the manager did not like me for whatever reason and made my life awfully difficult.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Easy
Worker (Former Employee), Claremore, OKJanuary 16, 2015
I was just basically a cashier. They didn't tell me when I was no longer going to be working there, they simply didn't schedule me.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Work, Play, & Learn
system admin (Former Employee), New York, NYJanuary 16, 2015
Environment that challenges you to achieve, fully supports your ability to do so, and recognizes and rewards your efforts when you do.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Worst place I've worked at
Bookseller (Former Employee), Fairfield, CAJanuary 15, 2015
Pros: employee discount, great leads, friendly coworkers
Cons: store management, constant stress, strict sales goals
When I first started I loved it. I love books, I love music, and I love coffee, and it's all there with your employee discount. My coworkers were great and I made friends quickly. The leads there are very knowledgeable and look out for you, but you can immediately see the stress they are under day in and day out. And it's clear why. The store manager there is a beast. She runs the place with a whip. You can tell she controls her anger with fake smiles but once you hit a nerve with her, she will berate you and make you feel like you are the worst associate she's ever had. And it's for simple things like not saying good morning, asking a question, or making 3 close friends. She will not allow associates to become friends. Now that I'm gone my ulcer stopped growing.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great company
Merchandising Manager (Current Employee), Bridgewater, NJJanuary 14, 2015
Pros: good benefits, friendly coworkers
Cons: hours
Provide world-class customer service through our 4 core principles.
Be the Manager On Duty; café & store sweeps to maintain store.
Write weekly schedule & maintain payroll. Cash handling. Assist in hiring & training. Assist in store relays of departments.
Product placement. Visual merchandising standards.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Good Company would work for them again.
Bookseller/Merchandise Manager (Former Employee), Plano, TXJanuary 13, 2015
Overall it is company with good product and well managed at upper levels, yet not so much at store level. This must be understood a store is some what like an individual each one is different and follows the personality of the people who work in the store itself.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Employement
Bookseller (Former Employee), Philadelphia, PaJanuary 13, 2015
The hours weren't the best and neither was the pay but it was a job none the less.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Mental Assylum
Project Accountant (Former Employee), Basking Ridge, NJJanuary 13, 2015
Cons: everything
Here you get no training despite what they tell you, you have no advancement if you go to the dept vender relations. In this dept you are stuck in a bottomless pitt as you are the lowest lifeform possible. You get no respect and are yelled at by management like children. When you dont do things as they want you to do it you get a coaching memo as to where they put you in a room with the new people that are just hired to take over your position. I dealt with 30 accounts and I cleaned them up for all of the bookstores, people called me by name to help them out cause no one was listening to their needs. The hardest part of the job has to be hearing the bookstores begging gor help and you want to help them but your management tells you no. The hardest part of my job was trying to act like the slave they want you to be, while the most enjoyable part of the job was leaving. If you dont hit your goal of working on 5 accounts a day they tell you to come in on saturday as if mon-fri wasn't enough. Dont work here stay far away!!!
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Decent place to work
Café Manager (Former Employee), Palm Desert, CAJanuary 12, 2015
Pros: slow paced, easy going customers
Cons: lack of team support
The slow paced retail environment is ideal for those that want to have a complacent work attitude, The expectations have become unrealistic since the company is struggling to meet investor expectations. This causes judgmental and poor decisions amongst store management.

1 2 3 4 5

About Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) is a Fortune 500 company and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational – Read more