A review of Holland & Barrett by Anon written on Monday 25th of July 2016
I've been with H&B roughly 3 and a half years now.
It's been fairly tough, since originally there was mystery shoppers and one of the points made was against potential Certainties and confidence in the product. Unfortunately got marked down thanks to being diplomatic in the case, Should could or can being the prime word used in regards to it. Since I didn't "SELL" the product we were marked down for this visit.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this job isn't sales, yes we have targets, yes we earn commission (A whopping 1% on all sales I believe). Which is still based around the job being Sales Along with our reviewing system being based on us making recommendations. So if the reviews get low, our "commission" disappears. (could be so much as a customer saying "They didn't WOW me" or "The floor had crumbs on it" from a previous customer perhaps).
So here's why I don't think it's Sales. In an effort to either care about the customer or make a sale we need to advise them since we as the associate are supposed to be knowledgeable on the item at hand. Which granted after passing the courses and researching for yourself you should have a manner of knowledge more popular products and majority of what you sell. This is where i say we're providing a service, we have the knowledge and a optimistic customer will assume we won't lead them astray in order to profit ourselves. The staff I know don't, we will get you what you need and hope it makes you better and should we be able to save you money we're all happy and you'll hopefully remember us and return. (but the pay, company targets and memos, would suggest we're sales.)
As far as qualified wages goes, it's bad. currently only 7.50 p/hr roughly with our little bonus for APA (soon to change with been told!) before commission. Then you see tesco, Asda, Aldi and other such stores where qualifications (product knowledge) aren't as essential for the work place. Start at 8.50 for some places. Commission also depends heavily on the store and location. Some stores take £50,000 per week. All the stores I've seen are at closer to £10,000 (this isn't because we failed to achieve target or lacked the knowledge or the ability to sell. We want the customer to be happy) so you could imagine how the commission varies from place to place.
My next point is from what I can tell. H&B don't care about the customer, staff or competition. I've seen on numerous occasions our food products get reductions in weight and increases to price (for example Prunes originally 500g for 5.99 maybe 6.99 when I started, now they're 400g for 8.99) not limited to food either and knowing the supplements may even be worth so much less as stock vs the retail price. Competitors can beat our prices with huge margins most of the time, whenever I see anything we sell in another shop, minimum difference is 25% before sales if it is.
In regards to staff, my first 2 years was an awful ordeal, my incentive to train was non-existent, the time just wasn't given or proposed. The schemes such as the cycle to work and most other employer related schemes like it aren't available either.
My experiences have been heavily affected by previous ASMs and managers. Which have changed and recent team members have been given better chance to learn thankfully..
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Map showing Holland & Barrett on Lion Yard