Sport Chalet Employee Reviews

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Standard dead-end retail gig with some unique downsides
Sales Associate (Former Employee) –  La CanadaJanuary 6, 2013
Let me start with some positives. Sport Chalet is a place with very knowledgeable and friendly sales associate staff who are a joy to work with. The company itself is fairly straightforward when it comes to overtime pay and other important but easily ignored details. The biggest attraction is the discount and pro deals that you can access after three months working with the company. If you're really involved in your particular sport, there is a huge value to that perk, but not enough for me to recommend this job to anyone who has other options.
If you need the money, you're going to take the job no matter what. If you're experienced with retail (I wasn't), you know the standard downsides of this field. Value added sales (read: warranties and credit cards), bad holiday hours, constant blaring top 40 music, zero opportunity for career growth. But there are a few things about Scrooge Chalet that seem to be uniquely unpleasant.
For one, they're a company in survival mode. Like all big box stores, they're facing tremendous competition from online stores who use their stores like showrooms. Corporate HQ (next door to where I worked) puts intense pressure on floor managers to sell products like credit cards and warranties (which are mostly useless due to the store's generous return policy). They frequently send down directives about pricing, store layout, etc with no context or explanation and then get upset when we don't read their minds and do things exactly like they wanted. This stress trickles down to the sales associates. We fill out score cards with the numbers of effort indicators,
  more... credit cards and warranties sold and pass them to a manager.
At La Canada, the managerial staff is under more pressure than any other team. There is a constant stream of executives from corporate next door coming to abuse them over recovery (general store tidiness, etc) and stats. But the behavior is still unacceptable from some of the managers, even taking that into consideration. Afternoon hours are usually from 4 or 5 to "close," which can mean an hour after customers leave or 4 hours after, depending on the manager's mood. And at the end of the day, they sometimes give a speech about how we should be thankful for the hours or some such nonsense. You never know your schedule more than a week in advance, but if you ask for a particular day off, they'll say they have a calendar lined up three weeks into the future and need more notice. Everyone is *required* to work Christmas Eve. Enough said.
Even veteran employees are afraid to say no when they're asked to come in on holidays. And most people have been there for years without a single raise. It's really sad because Sport Chalet is a brand with a great story behind it that has squandered an opportunity to have a truly "expert" and content workforce rather than a revolving door of unhappy people. They have great taste in hiring. The people working on the floor genuinely love their departments and have a passion to help customers. But instead of receiving positive reinforcement, we live in an unnecessary atmosphere of fear. I'm glad to be out of this place.
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Pros
good discounts, solid pay, good coworkers
Cons
poor communication, terrible scheduling, uneven management
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Unhealthy store
Sales Assistant (Former Employee) –  Queen Creek, AZJune 18, 2013
When I started working at sport chalet everyone was easy to get along with. Everyone loved their job. Managers were easy to talk to and understood the employees and customers. Then when the store got new managers things started to fall apart. Customers started to leave and go to another store, and managers became more and more uneasy with their employees and customers. I learned that when you give your customers your full undivided attention and listen to what they have to say then communication becomes easy. You can help them find almost exactly what they need and they appreciate that because they come back for more. The hardest part of the job was that when your co-workers give the wrong information then customers start to get violent. That's when it becomes hard. My job was describe as a sales and my personal goal besides the store goals was to make sure my customers where to leave with a smile on their face and the product that fits their budget and needs. The most enjoyable part was when customers come back to the store with a smile and say "Hey I bought that bat from you and just so you know I am glade you helped me choose the bat because I hit the ball so much better. Thanks so much for the help, I would also like another product from you." I felt like I achieved my goal. My customers where my priority.
Pros
great discount.
Cons
unfun enviorment, no beneifits
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Terrible Company to work for
Department Head/ Area Manager (Former Employee) –  Tempe, AZNovember 28, 2013
This company has no direction or profitability. You will NEVER get a raise. worked there 6 1/2 years no raise just excuses. Management is a joke. Will promote people from outside the company with zero management experience. Just got to know the right people. Most of the basic everyday staff ends up training new managers or department heads for that matter. On hand inventory is terrible. You are constantly reminded of sales goals but don't have normal on hand sporting goods items to sell. Most of stock goes to so called A stores in California. Leaving Arizona stores with garbage no one wants. Then any request for stock gets denied by idiots that no nothing about the customer base you deal with on a daily basis, and they have no money to stock the stores as well. If you are a dumb college student Sport Chalet is the place to work. Just have no opinion of how to make the store better and brown nose and you will be just fine. And don't be sick cause there is no sick days or PTO for full time employees. You accrue nothing. They will also schedule you then send you home at a moments notice because sales per man hour is down on slow days, but at the same time have four managers hanging out on a Monday eating up 36 hours for the store, caring less about your time or well being.
Cons
everything
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the bad outweighs the good
Dept Head (Former Employee) –  Oxnard, CASeptember 20, 2012
Sport Chalet is a terrible place to work. The never appreciate their employees but expect everything from them. The management sucks and the lack of product training is sad. They pride themselves on being the experts when in reality they dont hire people who play the sport or train anymore. The general manager literally hired people off the street the day of inventory. All they are about are conning customers into getting their credit card because Visa gives the company money for every person they sign up. There havent been raises in over 4 years and wont anytime soon all while the CEO rides around in a company tour bus to check in all stores. They schedule you for 6 hour shifts, do not schedule lunches and still expect you to stay longer without a break. There are never enough employees in the store so you are constantly covering two depts at a time.The communication between management and employees is non existant. The medical benefits were cut and the 401k program was lowered and they no longer match anything. They expect you to drop your personal life and be able to work anytime they need you. Dont waste your time, youll be miserable.
Pros
free rentals, some vendor deals
Cons
no raises, no breaks/lunches, no training
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Finish projects and sell along the way.
Sales Associate/Footwear Expert (Current Employee) –  Redlands, CAFebruary 24, 2014
When I arrive at work there are usually projects to do at work. Examples like breaking down sandal towers and making new ones. Shifting over shoes in the racks to fit in the new arrivals from the day's truck. Setting up tables for upcoming clearance and cadence sales. On top of the projects I'm still on the sales floor helping out customers find the right pair of shoes, comfortable yet stabilizing insoles to help with the pains or collapsing arches of their feet, and offering other new accessories to help with their daily lives. Above all having the customer totally satisfied when they leave our store. The hardest part of the job is offering the accessories without making the customer feel overwhelmed with how much they are spending. The most enjoyable part of the job is creating a new relationship with the customers so they keep coming back and always feel comfortable when I serve them. My co-workers are fantastic we always work together taking customers to different departments to complete their list of shopping and always offering the best job.
Pros
free lunches, learning something new everyday, and meeting new people everyday
Cons
short breaks and no annual raises
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Relaxed workplace with fun employees
Footwear Sales Associate (Current Employee) –  Point Loma, CAAugust 17, 2012
Working in retail requires a lot of customer service. I believe the most valuable lesson I have learned at Sport Chalet is how to deal with different types of people. I have learned ways to accommodate different types of customers and ensure that the customer always leaves happy. I have also acquired a wealth of information involving athletic footwear. I have learned different ways to merchandise product, efficiently organize and stock new product, and most importantly how to sell the product.
A typical day involves one-on-one conversations and interaction with multiple customers, working on the computer to locate product in other stores, find sizes and pricing information. We also are required to maintain the cleanliness of the facility which involves: dusting, vacuuming, cleaning mirrors, taking out trash etc.
The hardest part of the job is dealing with difficult customers, while the most enjoyable part of the job is interacting with new and interesting people day in and day out.
Pros
free rentals, good discounts, flexible scheduling
Cons
no raises
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Right Idea, poorly executed
Department Manager Seasonal &Rentals (Current Employee) –  Rancho CucamongaDecember 17, 2013
Typical day at work involves intense customer service, sales, merchandising, and inventory control among many other tasks. I was personally accountable for customer accounts. The management's lack of communication is one of their biggest downfalls. Because of the lack of communication, a lot of time is wasted on duplicating tasks, and efficiency could be improved. The co-workers are great. Everyone shares a common interest in the sporting industry, so we can all relate on many topics. The hardest part of the job is that there is no room for growth. I was on the fast track to management, and got put on a halt because of the economy, and nothing has improved since. The most enjoyable part of the job for me is dealing with the customers. They are there to speak to me and ask me for my advice. I like being able to not only help them find what they need, but to educate them on the product so they know why they need it.
Pros
discounts on product
Cons
short breaks, poor management, slow sales, lack of growth
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Fun place to work. Great people to work with.
Ski Technician (Former Employee) –  Tempe AZMay 30, 2012
During the winter season I would work in the ski shop. I was in charge of all rentals and customer equipment for 8 sport chalets in Arizona. Customers would bring their equipment in to get tuned and or waxed. I would also repair our rentals and make sure they were in great shape for the customer. During the summer I would run the watersports department. I was in charge of selling product to the customer and moving the department around to best sell certain products. Throughout the year I would run the rental department and was in charge of renting out camping gear, water sport gear: kayaks, waterskis, wakeboards and also winter gear: skis, and snowboards. I would have to do an inventory of the entire store every six months. Inventory the rental department every four months. My main goal everyday was to please the customer and make sure I gave them the best gear that would suit them.
Pros
great deals on products
Cons
short break, raise locks, no set schedule
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I wouldn't waste my time
Shipping and receiving/bicycles (Current Employee) –  San Diego, CASeptember 15, 2014
This is quite a depressing job at this point, it used to be a decent company, but after a 6 year wage freeze, no one has any drive to do their job well. They aggressively push frivolous add-ons, like master cards and extended warranties and threaten to cut your hours if you don't meet their goals. Don't expect anything more than minimum wage. Communication between management and employees is atrocious and your lucky to see your schedule 2 days before the week of.

Only way I could recommend this job is if you can actually whittle your schedule down to once or twice a week, because the discounts and free rentals are it's only perks. And you are going to want to spend as little time here as possible.

The 2 stars is based on the aforementioned ideal super part time status if you can finagle it. Other wise there should be a no star option.
Pros
discounts, free rentals
Cons
everything else
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Horrible work environment run by managers who are unfit
Cashier/Customer Service/Sales Associate (Former Employee) –  Thousand Oaks, CAApril 18, 2015
Showing up to work you would never know if you would be cut that day or if your shift would be cut short. You would always find yourself having to help out other departments because of management not scheduling workers correctly. You would be told to go do things that you were never formally taught to do just because you were free at the time and one of the managers saw you. I learned that if a customer complains or gets upset that you are suppose to give them what they want and more because the customer is always right. I also learned that even if you are following the rules that management told you to do, if a customer talks to management they will make you look like the bad guy and have the customer seeing you as a fool.
Pros
decent discounts, quality products
Cons
bad work environment, rude managers, low pay, no job security
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Horrible Management and Corporate Office
Department Manager (Current Employee) –  Thousand Oaks, CAFebruary 23, 2014
Ever since the owner died this company has turned upside done. All the company does is push credit cards. Regardless of your knowledge of product or how well you help customers, they will not care if you don't sign up credit cards. You will never get a raise nor will you get rewarded for hard work. They don't promote from inside and when they do, its cuz they kiss a** to the DM, who never finished high-school, and they do whatever he says. This company is not profitable and never will be if they continue what they do. I would heavily not recommend not even considering this company for working or even shopping at unless you want to get grilled with credit card offers. If I could give negative stars then I would
Pros
employee discount, pro deals, free rentals
Cons
horrible gm, no raises, horrible dm, horrible business plan, miserable work environment
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If you are successful, the job is good
Retail Sales Associate (Current Employee) –  La Cañada Flintridge, CASeptember 24, 2012
Sport Chalet is a great place to work if you succeed at everything you are required to do. I'd like to consider myself one of their top employees, so it's a fun job for me because I'm not getting yelled at for not doing my job. You are praised by managers when you go above and beyond. If you're just an average joe, managers will treat you pretty bad because numbers are crucial. If I were an average joe, I would hate this job, but I'm not... so I really enjoy it. It all depends on the kind of person you are.

My biggest complaint is pay. I get $8.25 an hour and nothing more. I work my absolute hardest and I do a great job. I deserve a raise, but apparently Sport Chalet has a freeze on raises.
Pros
we usually get the most friendly customers, pro deals, 25% discount, co-workers, fast-pased environment
Cons
pay, short breaks, treated like you're in elementary school by managers
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Best First Job I Could Ever Ask
Retail Sales Expert (Former Employee) –  Concord, CaJanuary 7, 2014
I have learned and gain so much working at Sport Chalet. I got hired to work in All Sports Department, then I was moved to Footwear Department and then lastly moved to Seasonal Department. I had become an Expert in all those fields and had enjoyed coming to work everyday. I enjoyed working everyday with my co-workers, supervisors and manager to the point that we became a family. The only hardest part of my job was finding everything that a customer wanted, but it was only due to shortage of merchandise, but if I could not find it in our location I would try to find it at our other locations. I enjoyed and stood by what Sport Chalet stands for as a store and only reason I left was because the location closed down, but I couldn't ask for a better first job then Sport Chalet.
Pros
new product line conferences
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Corportate Office
administrative assistant (Former Employee) –  la canada, caMarch 22, 2013
I have worked at some multi million dollar companies and this has to be absolutely the WORST office I have worked at in my entire life. I have heard how great the retail end is but the corporate office is run by a manipulating self absorbed idiot that knows nothing. She makes sure no one speaks to one another and that every aspect of the company goes thru her, from HR to admin staff she makes all decisions. Every department is told not to interact with one another and when management starts to feel threatened they get rid of you in a snap. Unfortunately this company pays horribly and has even worse benefits if you need work experience this is the equivalent of working at McDonalds in high school. RUN don't stop hear.
Cons
no support, horrible pay, even worse managers
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Friendly Co-Workers, Happy Customers
Cashier/Sales Associate (Current Employee) –  Huntington Beach, CAFebruary 20, 2015
A typical day at Sport Chalet would include, helping customers find specific products they are looking for. If the product is not on the sales floor, an associate can special order the product. As a cashier, our job entails- solicit credit, ring transactions, process special order paperwork, and provide a general direction to customers throughout the store. Management is always willing to help us if there is an issue with feisty customers. Co-workers are very easy to get along with and always put the team first. The most enjoyable part of my job is seeing a customer satisfied with the service, and recommendations I give them on the products they are purchasing.
Pros
employee discount
Cons
short breaks
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Great place to work. Low pay.
Assistant Manager (Former Employee) –  L.A. CaliforniaJanuary 15, 2014
I loved working at Sport Chalet. The culture there is something that Norbert started in 1959 and it all wraps around treating customers well and treating employees well also. Lift tickets are discounted greatly, discounts on sporting goods are drastically discounted. If you love to do sports outside of work, this is the place to work. The pay is drastic and they have not gotten a raise in over 5 years. They have a freeze on raises. I left because I could not eat and be an employee at the same time. I was not able to buy a lot of sporting goods because they didn't pay enough.
Pros
discounts. great people work at all the stores. work with people who love whtat they do.
Cons
you work for almost free.
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Lack of training, advancement, and hours.
Salesperson (Current Employee) –  Vacaville, CANovember 12, 2012
The culture at Sport Chalet is pretty laid back. The co-workers and managers can be easy to get along with (as long as you play favorites). Unfortunately, you will not be working much (as low as 12/hrs/week). It gets worse during the holiday season. The hours are low and Sport Chalet continues to hire new employees. Also, there is a lack of training and career advancement. You won't make it unless you become a favorite and work full-time. If you're looking for a part-time job for a few bucks, then go for it. If you are looking for a career and many hours go elsewhere (try BevMo! or Best Buy).
Pros
employee discount and laid-back culture.
Cons
lack of hours, lack of training, and no career advancement.
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Great place to work. Many jobs will keep you busy.
Ski/Snowboard Technician (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAFebruary 5, 2016
Going to work is fine, doing the one job you are meant to do is tough, with the lack of hours and personnel, you will most likely be in two or three places at once, but you can usually call for help as you need it.
I have learned to be the best I can, doing as many jobs as possible in my rental and repair sections vicinity. My co-workers are always ready to learn and or help, with my shop and surrounding areas. Doing my job, I love watching the faces of kids renting boards and or skies right before a family trip. I also enjoy seeing the faces of returning customers whom realized the quality work done for them and the reason the continually return to our store.
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great place to work if you're passionate about sports/biking/golf/scuba,etc..
Dept Head General Athletics/ Fitness (Former Employee) –  Goodyear, AZAugust 17, 2012
Company has a lot of good qualities, but unfortunately too many bad ones.
Will cherish the relationships I have with my co-workers. got to know some great people. in spite of management not allowing much socializing on floor
Employees are not as highly valued as "they" would like you to think(they=corporate + management). No input whatsoever even as a dept lead. As far how to improve efficiency and sales.
Lack of proper work materials and insufficient product on a daily basis made it difficult to satisfy all customers.
Extremely poor communication with management team , especially general manager.
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A fun and challenging place to work for outdoor enthusiasts
Front End Manager (Current Employee) –  West Jordan, UTSeptember 22, 2014
A typical day at work consists of helping people find what they are looking for in a particular sport. I have learned the merchandising techniques of Sport Chalet and the requirements of moving forward in the company. Everyone that I currently work with is full of energy and loves the sports that they are selling. Pasion is one thing that keeps everything flowing. The hardest part of the job is the "retail hours" 7 days a week, either opening or closing and working the weekends. Sport Chalet has been a great adventure for me.
Pros
discount after 90 days of employment
Cons
pay is not the best, no sick time available, vacation only after 1 yr.
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3.4
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