Blacks Outdoor Retail Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

Blacks Outdoor Retail Reviews

Updated 23 November, 2017
25 reviews

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2.7
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Blacks Outdoor Retail CEO Ken Reeve
Ken Reeve
5 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Good Staff, Unfair Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Weekly pay
    -Nice colleagues
    -Staff discount works across JD stores

    Cons

    -Pay is pretty standard for 21-25yrs but under 18's paid minimum wage and supervisors only paid 50p more than sales assistant or 20p more than sales assistants over 25
    -Subject to searches to be sure no staff are stealing is excessive
    -Charging your phone at work is not allowed because it's using company electricity... bit of a joke for a company so big
    -Seems that management outside the shop dumps all the workload onto the people below with no incentive for sales assistants to work harder

    Advice to Management

    Value your staff members in the shop


  2. "Held back by head office"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Supervisor
    Former Employee - Supervisor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Blacks Outdoor Retail full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fellow retail employees were very good
    Additional staff discount was good (offered after completing additional training)
    Day-to-day wasn't challenging

    Cons

    Management above store level was absolutely dreadful. Demanding and uncaring, got hung up on by my area manager after working a 50+ hour week
    Lots of restrictions placed on store from head office that clearly have no retail experience
    Head office definitely looks down on the retail staff, not replying to emails
    Under paid management
    Area and regional managers just seem incompetent as a whole
    Terrible standard discount
    Training is unpaid and not encouraged
    Lots of last minute POS changes that are expected to be implemented immediately, these often arrive late and so involve overtime at no notice

    Advice to Management

    Treat your store managers with respect. Pay your employees what they're worth. Stop putting people in charge who have no retail experience as they do not know the challenges that are faced everyday


  3. "Great Staff, Company doesn't appreciate what they have."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Glasgow, Scotland (UK)
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Glasgow, Scotland (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Blacks Outdoor Retail part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great flexibility as a student.

    Cons

    The upstairs management (not at store level) don't appreciate that the workloads the demand is just not possible with the budgets they give to store managers.
    Every member of staff I ever worked with felt the same.
    The high levels of customer service we provided is at the expense of the stores tidiness and back of house running well due to the budget restrictions.

    Advice to Management

    Give the store managers more to work with in terms of budget or lower their workload. It is that simple.


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  5. "Poor treatment of staff by management."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Blacks Outdoor Retail full-time

    Pros

    Some good people working at lower levels.

    Cons

    - Management are lazy and abuse their 'status'
    - Staff constantly expected to change, cover and do extra hours
    - Spoken to in a very degrading manner by senior employees.
    - Very little praise, constant negative focus whereby management call select staff out for not performing as per the paper figures.
    - Poor place to work overall, if you want to work retail you can find more relaxed and well run companies where the work environment is much friendlier and therefore more engaging.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your staff better. Set an example from the top. Seeing management prance around all day handing out disciplinary forms for next to nothing does not make people respect you or want to work for you. Ever wonder why staff turnover is so high?


  6. "A shadow of its former self"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Blacks Outdoor Retail part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Management were, in my store at least, sympathetic to the pressure that the sales team were under.
    - Good opportunities for advancement

    Cons

    Blacks is nothing short of a joke. The extent it goes to in order to seem like the expert outdoor company it used to be is impressive, but after less than a month here I saw through the smoke and mirrors. Nobody in my sales team has the faintest idea what they are talking about. Absolutely no practical training is given in terms of product knowledge. It's all done using an online system, resulting in sales assistants having to make things up as they go along, which in a specialist store is a disgrace. HR matters like holiday and training take forever to come about (I was there for 9 months and never once trained how to operate the till), and constant audits, senior management visits and the CONSTANT changing of sales merchandising makes the pace of work relentless. All for minimum wage with no commission, yet they set sales targets anyway. Staff-rooms are abysmal, and often used as spare storage. Stockrooms are no better and constantly over-filled with damaged stock that we have to wheel out during sale times.
     All this is the fault of the parent company and their relentless pursuit of profit at all costs. Customer Service is a lie. We as sales assistants aren't there to prepare our customers for the outdoors, we're there to take their money. Refunds and discounts are handled begrudgingly, even for employees. Everything is security tagged from waterproof trousers to Kendal Mint Cake, and staff are subjected to searches every time they leave the store, just in case we might be hiding a pair of hiking boots up our sleeves. I didn't work for the company before it was taken over by JD, but I know that it would never have been like this. Merciless corporate greed in every conceivable way, and a damning indictment of what used to be a well-trained and professional retail service.

    Advice to Management

    Turn the music down. Train your staff properly and pay them more. Leave the company and work for somebody who will listen.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good job, awful company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Blacks Outdoor Retail full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good for those interested in working in Outdoor Retail, with quick progression through into management if that's what you're after. Good training opportunities.

    Cons

    Awful, distrustful company. Always focusing on Loss Prevention, which I understand is important to a company but creates an ethos of distrust within the area. Very competitive daily targets, with area managers encouraging hard selling as opposed to customer rapport. Working in management was a nightmare, with a 40 hour contract and no paid overtime but not having enough store budget to properly staff the store. I must've done at least 43 hours every week. Got paid nothing for central London working. Refusal to provide decent working space, would not refurbish old stores - staff rooms are cupboards. No good incentives for staff. Management totally stressed about every visit as if it's the end of the world. Constantly changing Visual Merchandising to the point where it was impossible to actually gain enough skills to be able to run your own store. Audit's were hellish and all the responsibility was placed on the manager/assistant manager team. If management quit there was no rush to fill the post and other management would just absorb the workload and the hours - see above, no overtime however. Awful company that taught me a lot about life but would've killed me had I not resigned and done something I enjoy.

    Advice to Management

    Pay managers enough for the stress/allow stores more staff budget so people aren't constantly chasing each other from area manager-manager-staff, making it a dog eat dog environment. Encourage good LP training as opposed to fear mongering. Have a team of 'helpers' surplus in each area who can go around to various stores to keep them tip top. Encourage staff to stay and don't just drive them out. High turnover of staff and that's unsurprising.


  8. "Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Birmingham, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Birmingham, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Blacks Outdoor Retail (More than a year)

    Pros

    Colleagues were wonderful. Hours were reasonable.

    Cons

    Made redundant. Management from outside of the store set unrealistic targets - all well and good to ask staff to push certain products and offers, but couldn't understand why some of these weren't met. Would be good to ensure all high-up managers have either started off in a retail store, or do a minimum of one month's training in one so they can see what it's like.

    Advice to Management

    Pay under-18s better - they do the same job as the older staff.
    Either treat them like they do the same job, or give them less responsibility.


  9. "Poor pay, very little enthusiasm in team."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Blacks Outdoor Retail part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Discount after 3 months, that's about it, there's no incentive to try harder other than to meet the daily store sales targets.

    Cons

    Pay is minimum wage, so if you're 16 you're earning a very small amount.
    Dull.
    The company do not trust you, get searched every shift.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your workers more and give them fairer pay.


  10. "Probably the best its been in Years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Derby, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Derby, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Blacks Outdoor Retail full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Just came back from the managers conference and can honestly say it has never been better

    Cons

    Pay could be better, and the uniform doesnt last very long

    Advice to Management

    Reward team more for results


  11. "Horrible to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Leeds, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Leeds, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The money was poor for what was expected. Highly pressured everyday. Never left to manage my own store.

    Cons

    Expected to work without pay. Never left on time
    After every shift. To many people from above involved. Massive profit protection department that come in and throw weight around. Working as a staff member is fantastic but as a store manager it was horrible company to work for. Expected to prevent shop lifters and go after them to get the products back or face disciplinary action that was last straw for me and I walked out. Would not recommend this company or any of the jd company

    Advice to Management

    Let managers manage


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