Alluring, but not worth the time and the pay.
Pros: teeny tiny gratises and 30% discount for associates and csls, 40% for managers and co-managers.
Cons: customer demographic, changing product line, floorsets
Bath and Body Works is a good place to work as an associate, but not as a management member. As an associate, hours vary constantly and it can often be frustrating to only have a week of call-in shifts and no actual shifts on the schedule. There is ALWAYS something to do, be it straightening, stocking, or the like. Management, do NOT expect to actually get a 30 minute break if you work an 8+ hour shift. Chances are that you'll be too busy moving around to Floorsets occur once, sometimes twice a month. Changes to the store happen near-nightly---marketing must be pulled and changed almost every night. Sales change constantly, so if an associate does not work for three or four days, chances are that they will not be aware of the current sales. It is VITAL that associates and managers alike maintain awareness of what is occurring in the store. Likewise, a closing shift will almost always end after the scheduled time, so do not expect to get out at 10 if you're scheduled to close. It'll usually come closer to 10:30, sometimes up to midnight or later if working during the holiday shift. Managers and associates alike can expect a scheduled 8 hour shift during holiday season but can end up working 12 hours, if not longer.
Management is another issue. Stores are broken down into managers, co-managers, sales leads, and then associates. Managers, co-managers, and sales leads are all required to open and close the store. This includes counting the opening and closing tills and ensuring the cleanliness and stability of the store. Store management members are assigned "segments" according – more... to the daily plan. Segments are two hour sections of the day where the store is expected to make a certain amount of money and "convert" a particular number of customers. This can often prove tedious, as groups can walk into the store and not all of the group members are willing to buy products from the store. This in turn counts against the store and ultimately the manager on duty. Management is also expected to sell a certain number of product from different categories in the store: Signature Collection, Home Fragrance, and Soaps and Sanitizers. If they do not sell the required number of dollars' worth, it is further counted against the store and the manager on duty.
Bath and Body also has a particular breed of customers that comes in. Roughly 90% of the store's merchandise consists of seasonal merchandise, so the customer base is often disgruntled with having to find another new favorite product. While it IS fun to see the new products, it can be upsetting to know that a fragrance has disappeared forever (unless it's tweaked slightly and renamed and repackaged for the next season). The customers will complain about everything from fragrance selection, pricing, and the types of products available. The default answer is to refer to the customer to customer service, but customer service tends to prove as more of a hassle for the employees than a benefit. The return policy for Bath and Body can be very frustrating for BBW workers as well. Customers can return used product at any time if they decide that they no longer like it. This includes a bottle of lotion from three years ago that only has a third left in it.
The only real benefit that Bath and Body has is that it allows its employees to transfer fairly easily. Employees can transfer to Victoria's Secret, White Barn Candles, and Henri Bendel. It's nice if you are a college student and want to keep your job in between vacations and school or are moving frequently.
Bottom line-- Bath and Body is mostly a dead-end job. They say that they're willing to promote from within the company, but this is mostly untrue. Stick with this job if you need something, but keep in mind that it is very much a retail position. Irregular hours, disgruntled customers, seemingly meaningless tasks are all a part of it, and sometimes the 30% discount doesn't make up for it. The team that you work with can make the difference, though. – less