Softlines Merchandiser (Former Employee) – KY – December 3, 2014
I worked at Kmart for about 6 months as a cashier (2 months) and then a softlines merchandiser (4 months). I was 16-17 and it was my first job.
The only good things about working at this particular Kmart were the hours/work-life balance and most of the coworkers. It was really easy to get time off when you needed it (however, that doesn't mean the store manager was competent enough to actually schedule you correctly unless you applied for the time off on the computer). Management, for the most part was disorganized and cliquish, and certain people made up their own rules as they went along. The only person in the store that could get a raise, as far as I know, was the store manager. Everyone else made either minimum wage or a little above (maybe $8-9) and I don't think you could earn above $7.25 unless you were full-time, which was only supervisors/senior merchandisers/management. I was never aware of any useful benefits besides the discount, which was 25% off at the restaurant, 20% off apparel, and 10% off everything else at all Kmart and Sears stores. It was supposed to be applied to clearance items and sale (whichever discount was better, I think) but I don't think it actually worked that way.
As a cashier, you're usually either the only one operating or one of two (more at peak times, but never more than 4 lanes were open at a time), not counting the service desk. If there was no-one in line you had to straighten the candy shelves or the displays within sight of your register, which was about half of your shift or more depending on the time. The supervisors (and sometimesmore... loss prevention, who took they're job way too seriously and spent more time policing coworkers than preventing losses) were supposed to get onto you if you didn't look busy, so the large amount of down-time you got due to Kmart being a somewhat failing store meant you spent way too much time than you should have pretending to organize candy bars and gift cards. However, the other half of the time you get literally too busy to function. Most sale items aren't correctly entered into the system and have to be price checked, and several necessary operations on the register require a manager/service desk associate to enter their codes, which ends up taking forever because the service desk is just as swamped since it's also used as a checkout lane and the one or two managers on duty (with the exception of the store manager) work on their own departments and projects. Then, there's also the age of the register to contend with, which causes any processing to be slow. And God forbid you have to reboot, because that'll set you back up to 15 minutes, which will probably mean everyone has to go through one checkout register or join anyone getting a refund or what-have-you at the service desk. We regularly had to tell customers to go to different departments to check out because of the wait and lack of people working there at any given time (which was due to a combination of people calling in or not showing up and the store manager trying to make the schedule all by himself and failing).
As a softlines merchandiser, I worked on one specific area of apparel with one other employee who was a senior merchandiser/supervisor. No-one else had any idea how to do anything in this area for whatever reason, and before I started working there, the other employee had been on their own for several years. This despite the department being one of the highest-grossing areas in the store, making more than electronics during the holidays at one point, partially due to how well-kept and looked over it was compared to the other departments. About a month or two into working in this department I received training in Layaway and "training" in Jewelry (they gave me the keys and told me to go help customers since there was no-one else available). It still seems a little irresponsible to me to put a teenager in charge of their only sets of keys and all but I don't know. From that day forward, I was given the keys to either Jewelry or Layaway or both every day I worked for most of my shift, which meant I could only work on my department in 2 to 60 minute intervals between running back and forth from Layaway/Jewelry/Checkouts (since I was one of 2 or 3 people "available" to do price checks). "Layaway Associate" might as well have become my job title by my final 2 months working at Kmart and I regularly worked about 30 minutes overtime each day. A few days before I left, I was in layaway for 5 hours straight (almost my entire shift, as a part-time employee) while my department fell into chaos. One of my managers actually called me while I was in Layaway working on a line of customers and said "Have you seen [your department, merchandise on the floor]?" I hadn't even had time to box up the 6 layaway orders that I had in piles around me at that point. I worked overtime just to put all the merchandise that was in the floor into 3 full carts before I left. Layaway was otherwise okay, but with all the big items up a flight of stairs most of the employees trained in Layaway had to page someone else to get it down (though this was sometimes not an option and whatever it was had to be dragged to the conveyor belt and sent down as a last resort, which was still a two person job since the merchandise would fall off the end), and anything over $200 had to go in the office, which was locked to anyone but office support and management (so someone had to be paged across the store then, as well).
The store itself was nasty and run-down. There were lights out in the breakroom the entire time I was there and all the computers ran Windows XP. Only 4 of the 7 registers were actually functional, while the other three a) had a hand scanner that was too old to scan coupons, b) had no hand scanner at all, c) were completely broken, resp. The breakroom (and the rest of the store, though it was less noticeable since it was cleaned daily) had roaches, ants, and crickets. During the summer all the customers complained of how hot it was up front and we would all be sweating (no drinks, by the way and I got in trouble for going to the water fountain in my downtime) since management wouldn't turn on the AC, but it was freezing in the back. The company is going down, too.
They'll hire anyone if you're looking to get some experience, but it's an awful place to work.less
mostly friendly and fun coworkers, easy to get time off
The only thing I enjoyed were the people I worked with. Everything else was horrible.
Cashier (Former Employee) – Pennsylvania – August 20, 2012
Kmart was my very first job. I was with them for about a year and a half. Here are the pros and cons:
Pros: - Laid back atmosphere, so you were never really stressed out as an employee. Don't get me wrong. You worked, especially during the holidays, but it was not like you were overworked or anything. -My fellow employees were amazing people. I met a lot of great people working there.
Cons: -They do not give raises EVER! They have been on a pay freeze for several years now. Basically, what this means is, you can work there for 5 years, but your knowledge and experience means absolutely nothing to them. You will make the same pay as a brand new employee in training. This causes you to feel unmotivated at work. Working hard means nothing. You get no rewards for being a good employee. -No cross training. When I was interviewed, they told me they would have me on the register first. Once I got comfortable with that, they would move me to soft lines. Well, that never happened. When I asked them about it, they told me I had to stay on register because they did not need anyone for softlines. -Their registers are old and therefore slow, which causes many customers to get frustated at us. You can not put a transaction to the side either, like you can in other stores. So if someone forgot their wallet in the car after you finished ringing up their cart load of items, you have to either wait and send your customers to a different register, or you have to void the entire transaction and restart the ringing process all over once they return. -These registers also waste A LOT of paper!more... I can not tell you how many customers would complain to me when I handed them 10 pieces of paper (I kid you not) where one is the receipt, and the other 9 pieces are coupons that are useless 90% of the time for the customers. -The reward cards they give customers are only worth it if you shop there regularly. For the most part, customers receive 1% cash back on their card. They have bonus points in the flyer, but for the most part you receive 1% cash back, which is not very much. Other stores give 5%, which is way more worth it. -There are never enough supervisors. When a customer has a complaint, they want it solved quickly. I have literally had to stand around for 5+ minutes, with a LINE of people, just to get a supervisor to come and help me solve a complaint with a customer. -They will randomly stop giving you hours. For weeks they will give you 25+ hours, and then out of nowhere they give you none at all. This happened to me, hence why I quit. I asked them why I wasn't getting hours. They told me "budget cuts." This made little sense to me because other cashiers were getting 5 days a week, and I was only getting either one day or none at all. So what did I do? I quit and went to Target instead. -Employee discounts are a joke. You get 10% off. You can only get a discount if the item is NOT on sale, which is insane because half their stuff is on sale anyway, so really you pay the same price as your customers most of the time. -No air conditioning. As an employee, I felt faint during many of the summer days because it was so hot and stuffy in there. We even had a day where the chocolate candy was MELTING off the shelf and had to be removed!!! Now, when candy is MELTING, you would think they would fix the problem, but nope. It costs them more money to keep the place cool. They would rather the candy melt. Customers are always sweating and complaining, asking us if our air is broken. ..............
Ever since I left Kmart and went to Target I am WAY happier! Target treats the employees well. They give raises for a job well done and even reward you with free snacks, or sometimes even a free DVD for a REAL good job that day. They do cross training. They have faster and newer registers. They give Red Card holders 5% off their purchase every single time they shop there. There are plenty of supervisors to help the customer/guest (we call them a guest there) within 60 seconds or less. So far, my hours are fine. I get plenty of hours, but I am new so you never know about that. Employee discounts are on both sale and original priced ites in the store. Also, when an employee signs up for the Red Card, they save 10% first, and then the Red Card saves an additional 5%, so the discount is MUCH better than Kmart ever was! Not only do you receive discounts on in store items, but you also receive discounts outside of the store. Last time I checked, I can save $4 off a movie ticket at Regal Cinemas. I can also save 30% off my Six Flags tickets if I decide to go there, just for being a Target employee. There are discounts all over the place. It changes weekly of course, but no matter what you will always get discounts somewhere. Lastly, they have air conditioning, which keeps the place at just the right temperature to shop and work comfortably in.
Bottom line, Kmart is terrible. Don't go there. Go to Target instead. You'll be way happier.less
The only thing I enjoyed were the people I worked with. Everything else was horrible.
Cashier (Former Employee) – Pennsylvania – August 20, 2012
Kmart was my very first job. I was with them for about a year and a half. Here are the pros and cons:
Pros: - Laid back atmosphere, so you were never really stressed out as an employee. Don't get me wrong. You worked, especially during the holidays, but it was not like you were overworked or anything. -My fellow employees were amazing people. I met a lot of great people working there.
Cons: -They do not give raises EVER! They have been on a pay freeze for several years now. Basically, what this means is, you can work there for 5 years, but your knowledge and experience means absolutely nothing to them. You will make the same pay as a brand new employee in training. This causes you to feel unmotivated at work. Working hard means nothing. You get no rewards for being a good employee. -No cross training. When I was interviewed, they told me they would have me on the register first. Once I got comfortable with that, they would move me to soft lines. Well, that never happened. When I asked them about it, they told me I had to stay on register because they did not need anyone for softlines. -Their registers are old and therefore slow, which causes many customers to get frustated at us. You can not put a transaction to the side either, like you can in other stores. So if someone forgot their wallet in the car after you finished ringing up their cart load of items, you have to either wait and send your customers to a different register, or you have to void the entire transaction and restart the ringing process all over once they return. -These registers also waste A LOT of paper!more... I can not tell you how many customers would complain to me when I handed them 10 pieces of paper (I kid you not) where one is the receipt, and the other 9 pieces are coupons that are useless 90% of the time for the customers. -The reward cards they give customers are only worth it if you shop there regularly. For the most part, customers receive 1% cash back on their card. They have bonus points in the flyer, but for the most part you receive 1% cash back, which is not very much. Other stores give 5%, which is way more worth it. -There are never enough supervisors. When a customer has a complaint, they want it solved quickly. I have literally had to stand around for 5+ minutes, with a LINE of people, just to get a supervisor to come and help me solve a complaint with a customer. -They will randomly stop giving you hours. For weeks they will give you 25+ hours, and then out of nowhere they give you none at all. This happened to me, hence why I quit. I asked them why I wasn't getting hours. They told me "budget cuts." This made little sense to me because other cashiers were getting 5 days a week, and I was only getting either one day or none at all. So what did I do? I quit and went to Target instead. -Employee discounts are a joke. You get 10% off. You can only get a discount if the item is NOT on sale, which is insane because half their stuff is on sale anyway, so really you pay the same price as your customers most of the time. ..............
Ever since I left Kmart and went to Target I am WAY happier! Target treats the employees well. They give raises for a job well done and even reward you with free snacks, or sometimes even a free DVD for a REAL good job that day. They do cross training. They have faster and newer registers. They give Red Card holders 5% off their purchase every single time they shop there. There are plenty of supervisors to help the customer/guest (we call them a guest there) within 60 seconds or less. So far, my hours are fine. I get plenty of hours, but I am new so you never know about that. Employee discounts are on both sale and original priced ites in the store. Also, when an employee signs up for the Red Card, they save 10% first, and then the Red Card saves an additional 5%, so the discount is MUCH better than Kmart ever was! Not only do you receive discounts on in store items, but you also receive discounts outside of the store. Last time I checked, I can save $4 off a movie ticket at Regal Cinemas. I can also save 30% off my Six Flags tickets if I decide to go there, just for being a Target employee. There are discounts all over the place. It changes weekly of course, but no matter what you will always get discounts somewhere.
Bottom line, Kmart is terrible. Don't go there. Go to Target instead. You'll be way happier.less
An Unorganized, Chaotic Environment with a Dim Future
Hardlines Sales Associate (Former Employee) – Grand Junction, CO – July 29, 2013
This is from the viewpoint of a Hardlines Merchandiser at Kmart. A typical day at Kmart is unpredictable. When it is quiet, there is very little to do. During such times, the minimum wage you earn seems justified. Sometimes individual projects will be assigned or there will be merchandise to stock, but these opportunities are rarely engaging. When the store is busy and hectic, however, the number of responsibilities you have to undertake are ridiculous. Kmart is attempting to save money by making everyone part-time and only scheduling so many people at one given time. This can make the demands they place on you unjustified for the minimum wage they pay. Let me explain. A Hardlines Merchandiser is assigned an entire half of the store; not a department like other retail positions, but half of the store. This means you must tend to every department. If a customer needs help in your half of the store, anywhere, you must go help. You are responsible for answering phone calls at the same time. You must help out those at layaway and electronics too. You must perform janitorial duties during emergencies since none are ever there during a regular shift. You must also retrieve carts when the cart bay runs low. Sometimes, you'll be asked to be taken off the floor to work at the register or service desk because the turnover rate is so high, especially among cashiers. This is all going on while you are tasked with stocking merchandise on the floor and conducting individual projects. During calm periods, these responsibilities are not too overbearing, but during rush hour or the holidays,more... it is ridiculous. I was outside for 3 hours straight getting carts during the Christmas season. Carts must all be collected by hand so it is a very slow process. Speaking of which, the technology available to the employees is inconvenient and broken. Registers frequently freeze during checkouts and shutdowns, the RMU (inventory/price guns) are outdated and extremely slow, and fixtures are so old and decayed, it is far too cumbersome to assemble them. Training is basically nonexistent. Everything is basically on the job training and many things are not told to you. A year into the position, I was discovering new things that would have made my job easier.
Co-workers were my saving grace though. Very nice, down-to-earth people worked with me and made my job better than it should have actually been. Unfortunately, management were the worst people. Management and employees are on an entirely different wavelength making communication an enormous issue. Management said they would conduct group meetings before every shift, but since everyone is part time and come in at different times it never happened.
Overall, this position taught me how to work under extreme stress while providing quality customer service. I learned what a business should not do and what issues must be addressed in order to satisfy employees.
The hardest part of the job is working with an inconsistent schedule, especially during rush hour periods. Doing most of the work with faulty technology makes it especially challenging.
The most enjoyable part of the job was working with my coworkers. Workers on the floor display great communication; unfortunately, teamwork is largely frowned upon in place of a much slower, individualized philosophy.
Overall, Kmart provides a dead end job to just about anyone who applies. There is no opportunity for advancement and the pay and hours are terrible. With the amount of responsibilities the average merchandiser is given, this is just unacceptable. Kmart is nearing bankruptcy, a wholly deserved consequence of its archaic business strategies and treatment of employees. If you need a job though, Kmart will be there. Just don't expect to stay for long; the turnover is so high because everyone seems to recognize there is simply no hope in staying with this company.less
the pay in accordance with responsibilities, terrible management, no training program, scheduling, turnover rate, no chance of advancement, cumbersome technology, overall business design, strategies, and philosophy
Over all I was very content working at K-Mart and was sadden when I found it necessary to give them my resignation.
Floral Design (Former Employee) – Greenwood Village, CO – January 12, 2015
Because this was a Super K-Mart and open 24 hrs the flower shop was always available 24 hrs. My in shop hours started at 10:00am and ended at 6:00pm to accommodate customers who would often come in after they got off work The first thing check coolers for cleanliness and see if any arrangements needed replaced, next check all plants to see if any needed watered, during which time I may have customers to assist. I liked my customers and often they would have questions and I was glad to be available and able to help them. Often there were orders to fill, corsages and special arrangements to make, balloons to fill, (some times change out the helium if needed.) balloons to put at each check out ( not less than 8. ) and also fill the balloon cage near the cards and stationary center (not less than 25.) Balloons are very popular and needed to be order weekly, I also took orders some times for the same day, some times for other days. I wrapped loose flowers for special occasion's, and for walk in customers, they liked them to look pretty, layered and tied with a piece of ribbon. 2 times per week flowers and or plants were ordered and when delivered unpacked them and put them away. Then there were the days for special occasions to set up special displays out in the store and try to make them look attractive in order to draw customers to them, such as folding back the foil and putting bows on the large plants which came in. Or displaying roses and flowers in a pretty way for Valentines Day, or special arrangements for Fall Holidays. There was also inventory day, once a month, count itmore... all ( unless it was something a customer had already paid for in advance.) My inventory always came out less than the intake. Customer's and more customers made me happy and my supervisors and managers too.
I learned to be organized, punctual and appreciate working alone in a high volume area that was always busy, how to accept instruction and change, and follow advice from others who had been there and done that. And learning something I had never learned before.
Management was great from my supervisors, to produce manager to the store manager, they were always available if I had questions or to give me advice on displays and were often ready to assist me when needed or as needed often with out my even asking for help. they taught me how to do it all. I appreciated them and they appreciated me and often told me they were glad to have me as part of their team..
My co-workers were kind but I didn't see them often except at break time they all worked hard and there wasn't a lot of time for socializing when there was we talked and got to know each other a little. We all had our own lives outside for the store. There were not a lot of complaints that I heard. There were two ladies from customer service who were willing to come into the flower shop and help when I got very very busy.
The hardest part of the job. Walking from the front of the store to the back of the store to what seemed to be never ending. And pushing carts full of boxes just waiting to be unpacked and put away, but always looking so pretty when it was all done. It was worth it. In retrospect I suppose there was really no hard part of the job.
The best part of my job. I liked my job, I liked what I did, I looked forward to going to work and being part of the team knowing that today I may have helped some one feel better or having said something that would bring a smile to their face.less
provided 2, 15 min breaks, &, 1, 1hr.break per day., good affordable health ins. program., a ocassional pizza party all we could eat.
SERVICE DESK SUPERVISOR (Former Employee) – Oxon Hill, MD – August 9, 2013
Where do I start? First things first, I am employed part time but I work full time hours at minimum wage because the store doesn't know how to effectively schedule for the traffic that it gets. Practically everyday there will be customers waiting on an average of 20 minutes to get their purchases rung out on the registers because the company only has 2 or 3 cashiers working. The customer service desk in our store is only allowed for returns and exchanges per management, even if the lines are long at the registers. We can be standing around doing nothing and have to tell customers that we can't ring them up which is ridiculous in my eyes. The store itself is unorganized and messy. I don't know how many times in a row I have to clean the customer service desk so that I can function when I come in for my shift. The way the money is handled is ridiculous as well. The customer service desk is only given a small amount of money to function with and getting more money to the cashiers or myself when needed is a hassle. I can't access the safe, so I have to call a manager and wait for them to respond to me so that they can then take some more time to retrieve the money and then give it to me so that I can help out the customer. Completely inefficient. The management is more concerned with accumulating SYWR and smart plans than providing good quality customer service. I am a new employee who has only been there about two weeks but have years of customer service experience. The training that I received was next to nothing. I spent two separate 4 hour shifts taking computer tests and thenmore... when I was done with that I moved to the floor and was thrown into running things by myself. I wasn't given a store tour so I didn't know where anything was, I didn't know any of the employees working the departments so I didn't know who to call, and when I ask a question I am given several conflicting answers, which makes both myself and the store look incompetent. I am also required to man a phone with 4 lines while also servicing customers at the same time. I believe that this is exceptionally rude to both the customer on the phone and the customer in front of me. I know I would be upset if someone wasn't paying full attention to me. The registers need a severe update because they freeze frequently and take about 5-10 minutes to reboot each time. I have had to reset the register 4 different times in one day. The only reason I am staying at this job is because I absolutely need it. However, I am confident that I could overhaul this particular store with some simple organization and patience. If you absolutely need this job take it, otherwise stay away!
ADVICE TO MANAGEMENT: Overhaul your training program. Not providing employees the opportunity to learn hands-on isn't helping them at all. Provide store tours and introduce them to the department leads so that they aren't at a loss for who to call when a price check is needed. Focus on the customer more than the rewards and additional plans. You won't have a customer to use them if they get upset at the horrid customer service they are provided. Simple organization would help things a great deal. Enforce your employees to follow a correct policy so that customers and new associates don't get conflicting information.less
not too many...the people that i work with for the most part are nice and easy to get along with, but that is highly subjective from store to store.
Customer Service Rep (Former Employee) – Grand Junction, CO – May 31, 2015
I took it upon myself to try to advance within K Mart by learning as much about the company and each position and department as possible. I became a "Jack of all trades" and could assist anyone with anything from simply checking them out, finding an item or answering a lot of in depth questions regarding the merchandise they were purchasing. I took pride in my customer service abilities and loved that no matter the task, I could complete it without needing someone more experienced looking over my shoulder. I was a team player however, and knew the importance of utilizing my teammates in getting things done in a timely manner. If I could not complete a task in a reasonable time frame, I was never opposed to ask for help. Honestly, my typical day at K Mart varied very much from day to day because of my vast knowledge and skills. One day I'm assisting in the electronics department with merchandising, organizing and pricing all of the items, and the next day I'm up at the Customer Service desk acting as an Assistant Manager because someone called out and none of the real Assistant Managers could cover. I worked in every department and could run every register in the store and I could tell you where to find just about every item in the store as well as answer most questions about a variety of items from the seasonal Gardening Department merchandise to the Electronics section. The management at K Mart when I worked there was a bit lackluster. They were assertive in getting the tasks that needed to be done that day completed, but I felt that they were sometimes unwilling to get downmore... and dirty with the rest of the minimum wagers. I also felt it very unfair how promotions and raises were handled when I was working there. After a year and a half of service, I was left at minimum wage, and job postings for better paying positions were not offered as promotions, but as new hire positions offered only to non K Mart employees. There was once an agent (now a friend of mine) hired on as the "Electronics Department Assistant Manager" and he started out making almost 2 dollars more than me with better hours, but when we looked at our job responsibilities, I actually did more than he did on any given day!. I felt this unfair that I wasn't even offered the possibility for advancement within the company. My co-workers were all great people. I made a lot of friends and I felt that I could rely heavily on any of them to get the job that needed done, completed the right way, the first time. The hardest part of the job was probably the physical labor. There were many times (mostly in the summer) when I had to lift objects that weighed hundreds of pounds such as playground equipment, new pools, trampolines etc. but to be honest, I relished the exercise. The most enjoyable part of the job was making the sale. I loved being able to talk with customers, interact with them and assist with their needs, then at the end of it all, be able to take credit for the fact that the customer I was assisting is leaving with products that keep K Mart alive, because of my customer service skills.less
Meeting new people every day, the exercise, not a demanding job
No opportunity for advancement, very little recognition of achievement from management or peers, hard holidy hours
Front end supervisor, (Former Employee) – Champaign, IL; Greenville, OH; Urbana IL – March 25, 2013
The huge positive thing that I will say about Kmart is that I worked at three locations and travelled with them creating the "store of the future" in Illinois. The managers were wonderful and supporting for the most part (one however, was the manager nightmares are made of, but they were not on my shift so I didn't deal with them too much).
The second location I was employed was closed even though the store was profitable and a staple to the community. This was during their "store of the future" campaign where they would upgrade stores to meet a certain standard (and turn them green). At this location, I did enjoy my job. The store manager made a point to come out and say and do nice things for the employees, and to this day I adore that woman. When a co-workers husband died, she allowed all of us who were close to her to leave work and go to the viewing (the new employees stayed and held the fort). This was a store manager that cared about her employees and her store. Seeing the pain in her eyes when they announced they were closing the store was infuriating, not just to me, but to us all.
The downfalls. Most Kmart stores have poor security, do not allow you to stop shoplifters, and for those of us in 24 hours stores... that can make working there dangerous. On multiple occasions I was threatened by people intent on harming me for the money in my register. On one occasion I sent out a message for help over the intercom, no one came. Eventually I had to go on the intercom and yell "unless you want a dead employee, get up to the registers right now". As you can tell, I wasmore... written up for this event.
At this position, I was a front end supervisor. My car was damaged and due to lack of security, I couldn't do jack about it. Someone kicked in my drivers side door. No cameras were functioning in the parking lot to see who actually did the damage and the store was uncaring. Not their problem.
At the time that I worked there, even though I was full time, there was no insurance.
The pay is dreadful. As a front end supervisor, I made $9/hr, $9 as a department manager, and $8 as a general csa.
Even with my good managers, I had no work/life balance. They didn't have good scheduling, and I saw people fired because they were so ill that they didn't come to work. They'd rather their customers get the flu, than keep their cashiers home.
Eventually I was terminated for what they claimed was stealing, even though they saw on the camera the individual who did it. After I was gone, that individual was fired and admitted he did it. However to this day, it is on my records at Kmart that I stole money and am not rehirable (not that I want to go back but that is a lie and it's not fair that I am stuck with that reputation). Unfortunately also, this event occurred at the store with the manager from h-e double hockey sticks, who had no intention of doing anything decent for his employees. Including doing the morally right thing of correcting the lie of a record his store placed on me.less
decent management, co workers are generally nice and caring, always a lot of job openings.
DON'T EVEN BOTHER! Walmart pays more and has nicer feedback. Just ask any current Kmart employee.
Customer Service (Former Employee) – Somerset, NJ – January 14, 2014
A typical day at Kmart is like going to a zoo, but your on display. Corporate lays out certain rules and regulations to follow when dealing with customers, if a customer is unsatisfied and asked for a manager, this is not uncommon. What I did find uncommon was that the managers will usually go against corporates rules to please the customer. This is not unheard of. What is unheard of is when you get a complaint written to corporate about you because at first you followed their rules, management will not stand up for you. This to me is their trick to keeping you at the bottom of the store food chain. They will also schedule for 15 days straight when your availability clearly states that you can't (even pregnant with a doctors note) and say that its not really in a row because according to payroll it's different weeks. If you are pregnant, just run. I had low blood sugar before my pregnancy which was made worse by my pregnancy. I got a doctor's note stating that I needed a snack and water with me at all times. I turned the note into management, no words exchanged. A week later I was written up for eating my snack. Because I did not tell them about my blood sugar, they did not see a reason for me to have a snack and stated that a doctors note does not give me permission to have eat on the floor. I did not want to tell them about my blood sugar issues but found that I had to. They then stated "They were not aware." I explained they were aware from my doctor, they just didnt have the exact reason and that by forcing me to tell them because I did not want a write up, violated my HIPPAmore... rights. They were quick to apologize but were still not very helpful but limiting where on the floor I could eat. I would also be scheduled during my 7th month, for a 6 hour shift. No complaints with that. My complaint is that they would have only underage kids working registers, and you must be atleast 18 to cover service desk so none of them could cover when I had to use the rest room, which at 7 months was pretty often. I again got a doctors note and gave it to HR, which in a nice manner stated I was pregnant and had to use the restroom often and they would have to accommodate that. For the next 2 weeks, there was still no help. I finally went to my store manager about this and he said to call HR for her to cover for me. I agreed and hoped this would help. NOPE. I would call her to come cover for me and she would tell me she was on lunch, or the phone, or with an employee or leaving for the day. When she would come up, it would be 30-45 minutes later. That was not easy for me to hold it for such a long period of time. I thanked god the day they terminated me while on family leave. It allowed me to collect unemployment because they had no grounds for termination, other then I was a "pest" during my pregnancy, and even though I have not found a new job yet, I am happier with less money than I was there.less
doesn't take a brain surgeon to work a register or put clothes on a hanger.
Cashier (Former Employee) – Raleigh, NC – June 3, 2014
A typical day at work included operating cash registers in every department of the store when needed. I've worked in the jewelry department, customer service desk, garden department, and the electronic department. Sometimes during the day I clean and organize my station and stock isles with merchandise to make it appealing to customers. I also worked on the sales floor stocking items, taking inventory, and keep things in tact in the women, teen, child, and DIY sections of the store. Daily I would have to convince customers to purchase possible credit cards with Kmart, and also start reward plans with the company. Each employee had quotas to meet when it came to selling credit cards, and signing people up for reward plans. I was the top 10% when it came to selling both. I learned and acquired a great deal of patience, not that I didn't acquired it in previous jobs but retail was a new path for me. I also learned how retail works and how making sales are important to company enrichment. Management was hard to deal with simply because the company was going into foreclosure. They weren't sure how to deal with it, making it harder on not only employees but faithful customers also. My co-workers were very easy to get along with. When it came down to the store closing we tried really hard to collaborate and keep it open. The hardest part of the job was dealing with items that were marked down and putting them into the register making sure customers get what they ask for. Management was supposed to update systems, and ads so that marked down items could be present in our registers somore... when customers purchased marked down items the register would automatically recognize the items and marked them down instantly. Instead as the cashier I would have to manually put in the marked down price, calculate it mentally, and then make sure the computer would prove the transaction. Also the software on the registers was out of date. The company couldn't pay for new registers so there were times when I had a long line, and I was checking someone out and the register would freeze, then I would have to reboot it right in front of customers, or I would have to send them to someone else's register. Another difficult thing about Kmart was trying to meet corporate quotas. Corporate (Sears Holding Corporation) wanted us to sell at least 20 credit cards and 20 reward cards each day. Since the business wasn't as successful and we were located right next to a Walmart we hardly received customers, and without customers you cant sell anything making the pressure on employees harder. The most enjoyable part of the job was the learning experience behind it, meeting new people, and getting along exceptionally well with frequent customers.less
Great for highschool students to start off a work history.
Cashier (Former Employee) – San Leandro, CA – July 12, 2012
A typical day of work as a cashier would start with a brief discussion with my manager about the work I was expected to do for the day. Sometimes this would consist of the manager telling me what register I was working at and nothing more. Other times I would learn about another department that I was going to help for part of the day, or a project at the front that I was going to be in charge of. The days that I spent in other departments were usually right after large shipments, where my manager would need help getting as much merchandise to the sales floor as possible. The projects at the front were typically displays that I would be organizing or new promotional items that I would be putting up in place of old ones. I almost always closed the store, which meant I was the last cashier there at the end of the day. Apart from checking out people at the register, this meant that I was in charge of cleaning the store at the end of the day and making sure everything was in place for the opening cashier the next morning. My day would end with my manager counting my drawer and me tidying up all of the displays in the front area to make sure they looked good for the morning. If I had spare time, I would help other people put up returns in their departments so we could all leave the store more quickly.
The types of things i learned was commission. Selling Sears credit cards, offering rewards cards to each and every customer. I also learned how to do merchandise returns.
Management was great i loved how they inneract with their associates as if we were all truly family, in which wemore... were figuratively speaking.
Co-workers were okay they were manly high school students so some were not that serious about the job.
I would say the hardest part of being a cashier for kmart would be the beginnig, i say that because you have a lot of remembering to do. For example handling the money transaction while selling the credit cards, offering rewards cards, bagging merchandise, answering customer questions, price checks, sometimes dealing with really rude people all at one time. The good part though was that with anything with practice makes perfect although it got pretty overwhelming at times.
The part the i most enjoyed would probably be getting to work in different departments from time to time. For example, if a co-worker called in i often covered their department for the day or a couple of hours and sometimes i would have to switch more than once. That brought opportunitys to learn other areas but also it kept me interested.less
50% dicount at the kcafe, commission plus check, great recognition, represent holidays with costumes.
Softlines Merchandiser (Former Employee) – Salinas, CA – June 7, 2015
I have worked at Kmart for two years, in my time there it has been a good/bad situation. When I started I had applied under cashier instead I got sent to the footwear department, which wasn't so bad I just figured they would cross train us like other places I've worked at. I just wanted the job so I never did much about it. Will would you know I was never train in registers. After being in shoes for about a year I got moved to softlines department to be a closer, they need help in that department. Its was okay at first then it became better.
Last year I was working way more hours than this year. Apparently its budget cuts. Anyway who really knows.
Every Kmart is different and management plays a big part in who it is to work there. There was a different set of managers when I started than now, I will say I liked the ones before better.
I will say that I never got was: a pay increases, a chance for advancement (even if it was something I didn't want; an offer was never received).
In my time there I did learn new things that I will carry on to other jobs especially the department lead in footwear that trained me when I first started.
Although there was other things in softlines that I wished I would of been trained on properly.
The hardest part of the job was not being in the know about things going in the store about sales or new rules. Sometimes co-workers at the same level as me would be telling me the new rule about our breaks instead of a manager giving us a meeting. Also another thing that annoyed me was that I would go my whole shift without a mangermore... come by the softlines department to inform us that this person had called in (even though we already knew) and be like this is the game plan to get that persons department done.
The most enjoyable part of the job was the customers and the employees. I know people in retail complain about customers and we did have our share of bad ones, working in shoes I did have my regulars. My close co-workers are the ones that would put a smile on my face.
The wage is minimum wage. The hours are varied unless you get on someone's good side. The management is a work in progress not all just some. Don't make this your only job, most of the employees have other jobs this is their second job. Use this job for the retail experience on a resume not for a career.
Ask questions in your 1 or 2 interviews about the job so you know what to expect.
Its not a hard job, it just has it moments of feeling being unappreciated. I will say is if you want something in the afternoon 4 hours a shift this is your place.less
Associate (Current Employee) – Michigan – March 21, 2013
Sears Holdings Inc. tends to treat employees as replaceable commodities. At their Kmart stores they pay very little, do not give raises no matter how many positive surveys you get from customers or how hard you work, and will "advance" you to jobs with more responsibilities without giving you more pay.
For full-timers the benefits are okay, but part-timers can't really afford to take advantage of the health plans since they hire people in at minimum wage and keep them there.
As a general guideline the company puts more focus on heavy labor-- Stocking, straightening, etc.-- than on customer service or being available to customers. They hire very few people as dedicated stock persons, instead relying on the sales associates and cashiers to divide their time between stocking, straightening, sales, and cashiering.
Hours are very flexible in most locations, and the management tends to be pretty easy-going, but the company doesn't seem to think good employees are worth hanging onto. When you work for Sears Holdings, Inc. you accept that you're considered disposable. They have every intention of working you until you can't work anymore, and then watching you walk away instead of paying more, so they can get a younger, fresher employee to take your place at a low wage.
Kmart also routinely breaks OSHA rules by only allowing (or at least "encouraging") workers to take only 15-minute breaks when they're legally allowed to choose between a full half hour lunch and a 15-minute break. They schedule people for shifts that fall 15 minutes short of *requiring* a half-hour lunch, then stronglymore... suggest that the employees do not choose the half-hour lunch when break time comes.
The customers tend to be lower-class and lower middle-class. They vary from wonderful and friendly to absolutely dreadful and rude. Many customers see Kmart as a sinking ship and will treat the store accordingly-- that is, with no respect for the property or employees. A frequent question from customers is "Are you going out of business?" because the company doesn't seem to spend very much on Kmart store upkeep, and the result is stores that look rundown and old.
Working there isn't terrible, and there are good experiences with good customers and coworkers, but there are probably far better things you could be doing for minimum wage.less
flexible hours, decent people, some good benefits and discount.
pay raises are extremely unlikely, policies are sometimes draconian, stores are old and beat-up.
Productive, stressful, and frustrating all rolled into a typical day of work
Cashier/ Customer Service/ layaway (Current Employee) – East Brunswick, NJ – August 26, 2013
I'll try to be as brief as possible, but it's going to be hard to cover all the bases with this company without a relatively long review. First off, I think this company hires a lot of GOOD workers. My co-workers work hard and can be counted upon when we need help/assistance. The problem with this company is management does not hire AND schedule enough people for the various positions in the store. This leads to management plucking people off registers at the front end to work in seasonal or softlines which inevitably leads to lines and frustrated customers. I think it's both mildly amusing and baffling to hear management stress about "making the customer happy" when they're completely missing the key elements as to what makes a customer happy. The key is employees readily available and WILLING to help. When you're trying to help three people at the same time, it's hard to be openly willing to help someone else. How can I work customer service, help someone in housewares, and run the front-end without neglecting at least one of these areas? Making one customer happy just leads to another unhappy one. The solution; hire more people and review the schedules to make sure there are enough employees to cover ALL departments and employees to cover breaks. This is a lot more important than worrying if a register's reward's percentage is 69% instead of 73% or if they got lucky and influenced enough customer to enroll in the reward's program (not to mention, it's A LOT harder to sign people up for things management desires when you have long lines and people just want to get out themore... door). The solution; look back a couple sentences (hint: hire more people!!!!) Once management realizes that the recurring cycle of unhappy employees trying to handle way too many responsibilities coupled with frustrated customers leads to decreased sales, maybe things will change.
Also, to avoid confusion, when I use the term management, I'm indirectly referring to corporate since I think the problem stems from their incompetence. Store managers here are generally helpful, and I think they get short-handed because of orders handed down from corporate.less
flexible schedule, good co-workers, fast-paced environment, helpful managers
not enough help, no opportunity for advancement, stress, limited benefits, lack of communication
Cashier/Customer Service (Former Employee) – Lewisburg, WV – September 28, 2012
Everyday was fun working at Kmart. I'd clock in, get a til, and take some customers. Whenever it was slow I'd always volunteer to do returns. Everyone hated doing returns, I did to but it gave me a chance to walk arounnd and exercise my legs after standing at my register for so long. You always got your breaks here they were really really good about making sure you got your full break and everything. They were understanding, if you needed to use the restroom you didn't have to ask and wait around you could tell them, turn your light off and go. This was my ultime favorite place to work. At Kmart I learned everything there was to know about Kmart. I learned how to do eveything. We were trained very well at Kmart, they didn't just throw you in there and expect you to learn as you went. If you had any questions there was always somone there that had been working there for a while that could answer any question you had. This job also taught me patience because the people on the phone can get pretty rude and you have to be calm and nice to them so you learn to not let things get to you when you work there. Management couldn't have been better. My manager had just posted the schedule one day and I had just clocked in and went to the back to put my stuff up and I needed a certain day off and he was nice enough to take the just made schedule down and change my days around for me. My co-workers were GREAT I have gone to school with almost all of them my entire life. Its fun to work with people that you know so then you never really feel like the new kid on the block at work. The hardestmore... part of my job was the end of my shift. I was the closing cashier so I was there until every customer in the store left. The hard part about it was the fact that I had to do some waiting before I could count down my drawer and everything, but I also had to manage returns and covering other peoples stations while they took their returns back. But all in all I absoultely LOVED this job and would take it back in a heart beat! The most enjoyable part of my day was coming into work and seeing all my friends and coworkers. Getting to joke around with them and I loved it when it was a slow night because my friend in electronics would call me at the serivce desk and we'd joke around on the phone and just have a good couple laughs then get back to work. Work there was a breeze for me I would love to have this job back.less
Merchandiser/Sales Associate (Former Employee) – Erlanger, KY – January 9, 2015
A typical day at work involved stocking shelves, providing customer service, unloading trucks and moving lots of things from point A to point B. The turnover rate for our store was extremely high, I was the senior employee in the pantry department within a month of starting, so I was often tasked with training new employees and keeping an eye on them as they adjusted.
I learned a lot about department presentation when I was moved to hardware/automotive, where I was in charge of setting up displays and making endcaps with the products we had in stock. I also learned a lot about selling products to customers while helping them find everything they needed.
Our store manager had a way of getting under some people's skin, but I feel it was just the way she operated when she was in work mode. Outside of work she was one of the nicest people I've ever met - and she also gave to the employees a LOT and went under appreciated. Anytime she received a bonus of any sort, she would always have food catered to us (Olive Garden once!) and always brought us donuts on the weekend. The assistant manager was gruff and intimidating, but always in the way that he'd grin or say something witty to show he was playing more than being incredibly serious.
The hardest part of the job was dealing with other co-workers, most of them seemed to have an issue with management and were prone to either wandering over into my department to complain about what "crazy" thing she said today or simply walking out of the store to never return. It made things a bit chaotic for everyone, especially when someone abandonedmore... us on truck days or leaving a mess for everyone else to clean up. The ladies that had worked in the store since the 70's were pretty grumpy and unpersonable, leaving a lot of our customers quite bitter.
I've heard a lot of people complain about KMart, but they were the most flexible and understanding company I worked for during the time I spent living with my grandfather. I enjoyed having the opportunity to work and help others, which other employers were unwilling to offer.less
Loss Prevention Associate (Current Employee) – Moosic, PA – May 30, 2015
Ensures customer care and selling are #1 priority • Practices operation invitation and positive customer interaction by smiling and greeting every customer that comes within working area • Interacts with customers to determine and meet customer needs, provide assistance and support and ensure a positive shopping experience • Understands the store layout, services and locations of merchandise Tours area of responsibility and prioritizes jobs as needed • Effectively demonstrates “Take customer to the merchandise” policy and assists customers as needed • Detects and respond to external theft incidents Is effective in detecting theft potential through external sources • Effective in monitoring internal incidents and reporting to Loss Prevention Lead/Manager and Store Manger • Monitors areas of visible shrink and assists in correcting deficiencies • Assists in reporting and following up on customer accidents and assists to maintain a safe, clean store • Assists in training store associates on proper safety procedures and equipment, loss prevention and shrink control measures/procedures • Completes required inventories and audits at the request of the Store Manager and Loss Prevention Lead/Manager • Works with Loss Prevention Lead/Manager utilizing loss prevention physical monitoring equipment • Utilizes the Loss Prevention Information System and its reports • Maintains a professional appearance and demonstrates a high level of confidentiality on internal integrity opportunities • Accounts for and ships all outbound merchandise, including Genco/Vendor returns accurately and in accordancemore... to Company policy • Ensures all claims are processed and up to date on outbound merchandise deliveries • Performs other duties as assigned • Strong verbal, written and analytical skills • One year retail experience, loss prevention experience or equivalent • Must be able to make appropriate decisions in stressful situations • Must be able to follow written and verbal instructions • Repetitive bending, lifting, stretching and reaching skillsless
Great if you need to have a job. Don't expect much, though.
Service Desk Associate / Front End Supervisor (Current Employee) – Rochester, NH – June 19, 2013
While this job may leave you wanting more, it is a fantastic step into the world of retail and supervisory experience. Typically, you are expected to open the store by putting cash into registers, unlocking security devices, setting up front-end displays, and turning electronic displays on. Throughout the day you are expected to do quite a lot, or not enough; the variety cannot be understated. Whether it is refunds, checking customers out, price adjustments, money orders, Western Unions, fixing registers, assisting up to five different cashier issues at the same time... you may or may not have a combination of all of those things, or even none!
Management, on the whole, is helpful. They will answer what questions you do have, as long as you do your best to remember the answers in the future.
The coworkers are probably the best part. Something about the camaraderie of low-paid, no-competition workers causes a familial relationship with everyone. We all get along well, and there is usually a good laugh being had. You have your fair share of incompetent employees, and you also have your selection of brilliant and underpaid associates. It is a fair mix, with relative turnover. You definitely get to know everyone.
The pay is miserable, however. But that comes with all retail, and you should not expect great things from this job. You will be paid a dash above minimum wage, for far too much work, and receive little to no thanks for it. Your hours will be short, and your weeks will be long. They love to schedule 13 days in a row every now and then. And the concept of a weekend ismore... nearly unheard of. And insurance? Forget about it!
If you need a job to survive, take this. If you can make due with low wages, take this. If you need a place to be before you find a real job, take this. But do not expect this to be something worth more than a year or two.less
lenient scheduling, great coworkers, varying customer flow keeps things interesting
disrespectful wages, embarrassing benefits, no prospects for raises or advancement
Service Desk Associate (Former Employee) – Anderson, IN – June 6, 2015
I started out as a cashier, moved to service desk within 2 1/2 months. Was ok at first, but management became very disrespectful. Refused breaks and occasionally lunches. Cashier training consists of shadowing a cashier for a couple of hours then thrown on a register and when there is an issue, management gets upset at the cashier. If cashiers and service desk do not get customers to sign up for the rewards program or do not make at least $10 a day in donations, they get written up.
I did learn a lot of patience with upset customers and tried to manage refunds and checkouts simultaneously, however when a specific manage was working, they would get upset if the lines were long and when I would call for help, they would get upset about that. It was a no win situation.
After my 6 month evaluation, I was told I did a great job by the store manager, but the assistant manager would consistently tell me how I was not well trained and would complain about the cashiers.
After quitting, I went in to grab a few things and had several employees tell me how the assistant manager was gossiping about me quitting, which that same manager did when other employees quit or just stopped showing up for work. When these issues are brought to the store manager, they are disregarded and service desk employees and cashiers are constantly being mistreated and under trained.
There are no raises unless you move to a different position, the hours are between 21-25 unless it's the holiday season then you get about 40 hours or more without being paid overtime. Also, if your hour availabilitymore... changes, they will not work with you and you are told to either work the hours they want you to work or don't work at all.
This would be a decent job for a teenager still in school with limited hours, but if you are trying to make a living, look elsewhere as there are rarely high positions available with more pay and hours, no raises, and management treats you like dirt.less
disrespectful management, lack of training, terrible hours, no raises
NOT a good place to work - at least not for overnight
Overnight Replenishment Associate (Former Employee) – Chicago, IL – October 25, 2014
RUDE co-workers, managers who talk down to you and treats you like you're an idiot, and HR people who lie just so you will agree to that horrible job.
When I went to the interview for Overnight Replenishment Associate, the HR manager told me the stuff we have to stock is already on the floor, we just stock it. That wasn't true. Us overnighters had to pull it all out the backroom, which took sometimes an hour and 30 mins, and then stock it. It was hard work and this store only had maybe 5 or 6 people working at a time. I'm sure they would have had more, but everyone was always quitting or calling off because the job and staff was not good.
After working there for about a month, the overnight manager tells us we need to "work faster" and get all these boxes on shelves because we have another truck load come the next day. She then says we can't go home until it's done. I was especially upset. I was working 2 jobs at that time and so I couldn't stay. Not to mention, we aren't kids - and I hate it when management talked to us as such. The work wasn't all completed and we all left anyway at our scheduled time.
I once tried to call off and the woman who answered the phone kept asking me "what time will you be here?" I said "call off/not coming in/won't be there tonight" 3 times and she still acted like she didn't understand.
The coworkers were rude to each other and even though some had been there for years, they said they hate that job.
I guess the most enjoyable part was the pay. $8.75 was not bad and I was working at Kmart about 20-25 hrs a week.
One time I showed up for work,more... as scheduled, yet I wasn't let inside because it was past 11 pm and the security alarm would have gone off. Turns out, "the computer" made the schedule wrong. I was upset as I had to go all the way home and I wasted my carfare. A month later, they had the nerve to fire me for being absent too much even though at least one absent was their fault. I pointed that out, but they didn't care.less
too much work, not enough help, management treats you badly, unorganized