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Barnes and Noble

Mission: To be the one stop shop for entertainment for books, music, magazines, toys & games, DVD's, and related products.
Location: New York, New York
Employees: 11000
Funding: Public Company with $447.7 million market capitalization

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New York, New York
New York, New York
Barnes & Noble College is a retail environment like no other...
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Barnes and Noble Salaries

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What employees at Barnes and Noble think about working there

“I really like the customers and my co-workers, people seem to really care about books and we have this binding love for the product. For some reason though top management is constantly pressuring us to hit absurd metrics for getting memberships and upselling. We just want to talk about books and give customers a friendly experience and I feel this selling focus detracts from the overall experience.”
Not a bad job for part-timers but this really isn't a good job if you're working here full-time because the pay is not even close to being enough. The company is constantly changing their practices and the job feels super unstable at this time. Just this year they've already closed a ton of stores and laid off 1600 people.”
“Like any customer service job customers can really make or break your day, but Barnes & Noble seems to attract a much nicer crowd of customers than the other retail jobs I've worked in the past. There's definitely a palpable love for books in the air which makes this job worth working. ”
“Absolutely love my team! They really know how to keep a light and friendly atmosphere no matter the circumstances. I feel really lucky to work here because my managers are super understanding about my school schedule and know when I have exams and tests that I need certain days off, and they work around it. I also get to read books before everyone else because we get advanced copies before release.”
“I started working at Barnes & Noble when I was 16. I had no work experience and just a love for books and they hired me just because I seemed to fit their culture. The pay isn't great but I still love coming into work beause my team is all nice and we all have have a passion for books.

Barnes and Noble Glassdoor Themes

Strong culture

The people that you work with on a daily basis at the store are fun and generally nice to be around. We have a love for books which makes the job super manageable, even though corporate seems to try to do everything to make our lives hard.
Best retail job I've ever had! I never though I'd be able to meld my passion for books into my work, but when I heard of the opportunity here I couldn't say no! The people who come in are super friendly and the entire team is enthusiastic about new releases and about all kinds of different genres. Great place to be if you love books!

Limited growth

As a part time job this is definitely a good place to work. You get to hang around a smart crowd and surround yourself with book. You constantly know what books are new and which ones are the best. If the pay was a little better I would consider staying here after school but it's pretty tough to actually live on minimum wage job.
It may seem like a fun job because you're working around books but as a job it's not really somewhere you want to work in my opinion. The pay is just way too low and Barnes & Noble knows that they can always attract young people because of the culture around the company. I look back at my time at Barnes & Noble and I feel like I wasted years of my life.

Company declining

Barnes & Noble unfortuantely is one of the companies that is facing the threat of the new dominating delivery tech giants like Amazon. You can sometimes feel the tension at work when another store gets closed because corporate is constantly trying to cut costs. It was a great job but now I'm not sure if I'll still have the job 6 months from now which is pretty stressful.
Recently because of the companies poor performance upper management has been pushing us to take a more aggressive sales approach. I really don't like this because the whole reason I worked here was I liked talking to customers about books and engaging them, not to constantly try and upsell them to products I don't feel they want or need.

What do customers like the most about Barnes & Noble?

“"Walking into Barnes & Noble is like walking into videotron of the day. There's a feeling you get when you walk into a retail store that online stores don't give. I definitely think that even though companies like Amazon are going to dominate the market in the future, Barnes & Noble will stay alive because people love to buy books in person.

My favorite part about going into Barnes & Noble stores is that the employees are obviouslly super passionate about books. Usually you can ask one of the staff to refer you to someone on the team who loves a certain genre, and you'll be able to have an indepth conversation about different authors and titles that is hard to find elsewhere.

There's also the fact that you get to grab your paper book, feel the pages, and bring it to the coffeeshop that's in most of the stores. Nothing better than spending a sunday reading and sipping on coffee, seeing what books you want to buy next.

I love the experience of walking into Barnes & Noble and they have a great selection of books. Not everything, but usually you can find related books pretty easily and there's always something there that you'd enjoy. I really hope that they keep going and don't close all the stores in the future."”

How can I get a job at Barnes & Noble?

“They really like if you know someone who already works there, but also if you just show a general interest in books and show that you actually want to work there you'll have a good chance. Apply online, go into your local store and give your resume, and follow up on your application to make sure they know you're interested!”

How can I be successful at Barnes & Noble?

“It depends what you mean by succeed, honestly if you're looking to get raises you should look for a different job. If by succeed you mean being recognized for providing the highest quality service, then you have to make sure you focus on getting enough sales to be recognized.”

What kind of benefits does Barnes & Noble provide?

“The best perks to working at Barnes & Noble is that you get 30% discount on all books in store and 50% off for coffee! I love to hang out after work because everything is so cheap. For actual benefits, you don't get any if you're a part-time worker, and if you're full time you get basic medical, dental, and vision.”

What's the environment like at Barnes & Noble?

“"The retail experience I've had working at Barnes & Noble has been one of the best work environments I've ever been a part of. I came over from managing a restaurant, where the high paced stressful atmosphere was getting too much for me to handle. At Barnes & Noble everything is unbelievably calm in comparison.

My team are all passionate about what they sell which is a blessing that never comes from customer service companies. Everyone from the cashiers to the booksellers to the baristas, everyone loves books and has an opinion of what's the best genre and who's the best author. I love going around and asking people what they think about new releases and what books they've been reading recently.

The customers who come in are also all calm and smart. It's very easy to strike up conversation with someone and help them find a new book or author they didn't know existed based on who they like in general. I've had a ton of interesting conversations with some really smart people, and it makes me really like coming into work.

Overall, the environment is super positive here because of the employees and the customers. There's a common bond of books that brings everyone together, even though everyone might like very different styles, which keeps everything laidback and engaging."”

What exactly is a bookseller?

A bookseller is Barnes & Nobles way of calling someone a Sales associate. You'll be assigned to customer service, helping customers, working the cash, and occasionally help the manager with different projects throughout the day. Usually at the start of each shift you'll be assigned to a certain location and work within that department.

What would be the reason you let your job at Barnes & Noble?

Recently I feel like the reason I left my job here wouldn't be because of my own choices ut because I got laid off. So many stores are closing now days that the term job stability has been thrown out of the teams vocabulary.

How many hours per week do you usually receive?

The hours are usually pretty set but depend store to store. For part timers most shifts are about 4 hours with a 15 minute break, while full timers will work 8 hour shifts. You'll be working weekends and holidays so not much time off available. The stores are usually open at 8 and usually close around 9 so anywhere within that range you'll be working.

What are the different management roles at Barnes & Noble and what do they do?

“"There are a bunch of different management roles at Barnes & Noble. We have department leads, merchandising managers, assistant store managers, and store managers. Each of the jobs are for full-timers who've been working at BN for a few years. I've been here for a few years so I can give you a brief summary of each management position.

Department leads maintain the departments in terms of looks and stocking, so these are the people who are in charge of each separate section of the store. Department leads also help the book advisors by providing customer service and doing different projects to make the department stand out.

Merchandising Managers are responsible for the overall look of the store and make sure all the projects of the department leads are being done on time and to a certain quality. They're the people who are helping the departments run the floor, train, and cover for the assistant store maangers. Basically, they're the backbone of the store and know everything about it.

Assistant store managers and store managers are the managers of the people at the company. They over see everyone below them, dealing with schedules, hiring, and employee satisfaction. The store managers deal with the district managers, and are also in charge of making sure the store hits its sales goals from all departments."”

About Barnes and Noble

Barnes & Noble is a content and commerce company that focusses on selling books and other forms of entertainment With two major operating segments, Barnes & Noble Retail and NOOK, Barnes & Noble sells a diverse range of books, eBooks, magazines, toys & games, music, DVD, eReaders and other related products and services.

Founded in 1873 as Arthur Hinds & Company, Barnes & Noble is headquartered in New York, New York. The company became Barnes & Noble when William Barnes, a store clerk at the time, bought out the original owner and brought on the son of his childhood friend William Barnes. With over 633 stores across all 50 states in the U.S, 11000 employees, and $3.9 billion in yearly revene, Barnes & Noble is the largest book retailer in the United states.

There are many opportunities for jobs at Barnes & Noble, specifically for the retail store locations. Although the company is going through downsizing and other changes, there are over 400 jobs posted on glassdoor, 1,100 on indeed, and over 300 on Barnes & Noble's website. The majority of positions available are for community business developers, receivers, merchandisers, booksellers, and cashiers.

Positive reviews from employees report enjoying the employee discount at the cafe and bookstore, the flexibility to adhering to schedues, the feeling of being surrounded by books all day, and the generally smart and engaging customers and co-workers.

Negative reviews from employees report being frustrated with the low pay with minimal opportunities for raises, the constant downsizing, the rude customers that come with customer service jobs, and the strong emphasis on trying to sell membership cards.

Values and Beliefs

Barnes & Noble has 3 key values that drive the companies growth and interaction with both its customers and employees. These 3 values are:

- Barnes & Noble values a team that's bonded by the love for the product. Having a team that cares about books and the other services is core to delivering a strong customer service experience.

- Barnes & Noble values customers who come first. Barnes & Noble is a sales driven company so they depend on the ability of their sales associates to drive good customer interactions.

- Barnes & Noble values diversity. Knowing that the highest performing teams are people who come from different backgrounds and can share different experiences, Barnes & Noble employes people from all backgrounds.

Interview Questions

Why are you interested in working for Barnes & Noble?

What is your favorite book?

What is your availability?

What are your plans for the future?

When was a time you dealt with a difficult customer and how did you solve their issues?


Founded in 1886 under the name Arthur Hinds & Company, the company opened its first store in the Cooper Union Building in New York City. That year a recent graduate of Harvard, Gilbert Clifford Noble, was hired to work there as a clerk. He worked there for 8 years before he was brought on as a partner and they changed the name of the shop to Hinds & Noble.

In 1901 the store moved to 31-35 W. 15th street, and continued to get a strong customer base. In 1917 Noble bought out Hinds and entered into a partnership with his old childhood friends son, William Barnes, changing the store name to Barnes & Noble. In 1932 they moved their store to the flagship location on 18th street and Fifth Avenue, which closed only in 2014.

The company continued to grow and and when the owners of the company had died, it was sold to the conglomerate Amtel and then to Leonard Riggio for $1.2 million. The company expanded heavily in the 80's and 90's. In the 2000s, Barnes & Noble started to focus on electronics and other related entertainment, specifically in topics that related to books.

With the recent growth of Amazon and ecommerce, Barnes & Noble has seen a sharp decline in its revenues, laying off 1,500 employees in 2018 in an effort to save up to $40 million in expenses. With a new business model focussing on customer service, Barnes & Noble is optimistic about the future.