Avoid if you can. Don't expect to be treated fairly
This company is unbelievable in it's treatment of its employees. There is blatant wage theft going on. The company has so many daily/weekly and monthly tasks and not enough staff to complete them, it falls on the management team to ensure it's done outside of hours, and outwith the hours that they are paid for.
If you decide that your not going to do the tasks (and quite rightly so, because unpaid labour in the uk is illegal), due to not having enough staff or time to do it in, you will be met with a disciplinary for not doing the task. When you discuss this with ASM you will be told that you have poor time management, which is just really insulting to the manager's who have been in retail for decades and who have been successfully managing stores for other companies.
There have been a few reviews on here about attitudes of store management and how they are very poor. You may find in some cases that the managers are really stressed and continually under-pressure. They are just human. In other cases you will find that other managers have been with the company for such a long time, that they don't know any different and they are following the company culture. It's actually quite frightening to think that companies still run this way. Basic tasks such as cleaning and replenishment are not being done. Yes one of the most basic principles of retail, putting the stock out for the customer to buy, is not being done. Cleaning as well, considering you are dealing with food
Where do I even start? Interview process was easy and everything seemed fine. I was 16 when I began here in 2012. A lot has likely changed since then, but my treatment there was so awful I would never give it a second chance.
The assistant manager at the time was the nicest woman I've ever met, would always care about the workers, if you had a personal problem she would do everything she could to help. When she left, it went downhill.
With no assistant manager for a year, everything fell on the manager himself, who is the worst manager I have ever worked for. Rude, narcissistic and treats employees like dirt. Due to being in college, I was contracted and could only work weekends. I was constantly hassled by the manager to work shifts during the week, something I couldn't do when I was at school at the time. If I didnt he would make horrific comments to other staff about how 'useless' I was. Constantly put me on the tills, wouldn't let me do any other work and if we were busy he would stand around doing nothing but shouting at staff in front of customers because of how many customers were waiting. No one could have a break before him and he would award himself breaks that were over 2 hours long so he could go to the gym. Some staff ended up never having breaks because their shifts ended before he returned. He treated older staff nice, but the younger staff he treated like they meant nothing. I had constant comments from customers about how rude he was. He reduced me to te
I was expected to pass a number of tests within strict time limits. As there wasn't enough time to do the workbooks during the working day because staffing was so poor, I spent a huge amount of my own time after work and on days off doing the work. Bear in mind, this is all for bog standard minimum wage. There was a huge amount of pressure on all of the staff to pass these tests or face getting booted.
I was a supervisor and did a test called an RMP which qualifies you to open/close and run the store. Holland and Barrett are all about "progression", so what you may initially think is a 16 hour a week job, soon becomes you being pressured to take a management course and so forth. Great for some, but not for all.
"Hello, I'm looking for this product."
"I've checked on the system and it says we have one in stock. As it's not on the shelf, it must be in the stockroom."
"Excellent, can I have it please?"
"I'm afraid as I'm the only member of staff, I can't leave the shop floor to go and get that product, so you'll need to come back when my associate starts their shift."
Expect to have to apologise for something you know doesn't make any sense and it's your fault. Utter nightmare.
During a full time day (of which I did at least three a week), I was paid between 08:45 and 18:00. I was expected to start work at 08:00 and often didn't finish until well after 19:00. (Even later if the Area Manager was coming to
All the positive reviews are obviously manufactured from head office/Area Managers/Regional Managers
It's very clear that all the positive reviews are obviously manufactured from Head Office/Area Managers/Regional Managers.
I suggest to Holland & Barrett some Management Tips from Roman Slave Owners.
'The Romans understood the household as the basis of their society, and well-functioning households needed slaves. And just like employees at corporations, slaves responded better to reasonably good treatment and opportunities to improve their standing in the house than they did to abject beatings'
I worked at Holland & Barrett Retail 'Paid' Part-Time 28 hours for a 'Unpaid' Full-Time job (for nearly 2 years )
At one stage I was alone covering the manager who left the company, with no staff or help from area manager (I had been there a few months with very poor training) to run a store by myself for 10 weeks. I surprisingly did very well and the store did brilliantly and people noticed! I was best in the region in all the sales tables for the 10 weeks and mentioned CEO monthly blog. I was very proud of what I achieved.
I kept asking for Manager positions all over the region without any luck. My Area Manager really didn't like me is the blunt of it. I was fully capable and with all my experience plus my passion for people. I felt very dissatisfied.
Some of the staff are lovely.
Managers take home just over £1000 a month. A Supervisor about £650. I don't think this justifies the vast amounts unpaid overtime and the considerable amount of L
ProsSome of the staff are lovely.
ConsSecret shoppers, Training updates, Not getting paid, Paid monthly for minimum wage, Lone working lot, Very high pressure sales for Supervisors level & upwards, Ask open questions to everyone who enters the store & link sell 4 items to every customer
Ignorant, bossy and know-it-all behaviour. It didn't feel like working in a nice environment or feeling like a big family.
As Supervisor, I was almost forced into over 50 hours a week by the manager as this was 'expected from a Supervisor', while all other employees were kept Part Time, apparently because 'too many people are leaving too often and this is risky for the company'.
On delivery days, the store was messy, not up to health and safety standards, and we were forced moving heavy boxes upstairs and downstairs sweating like crazy.
All while asked to reach certain sale targets daily (if not met, we could risk our jobs). Not to mention how the manager would make us work with and delivery, while he was standing on the till taking sales under his name.
Fridge temperatures were wrong as thermometers and fridge were constantly broken. These issues were reported to the facility department, who always ignored us.
We also constantly reported other issues, from staff broken toilets, store shelves broken, top cupboards broken and falling down (which endangered customers and us while working). So the store was kept a hazard environment.
Slow, messy and not up to date technology. Several times, there were issues for the system used at the till as it wouldn't work, connect to internet, turn on, load etc.. Many times we had to work writing down customer details or product purchased, or had to stay
I began in a small store as an associate. There were enough staff members, good targets, just a few KPIs and focus was on customer care not selling unnecessary products. Over the 8 years I was with H&B I progressed through the company. The training when I began was reasonable, adaptive to learning styles, considerate of learning disabilities and reflected in the pay. Now it's restrictive to one particular learning style, colleagues are rushed through and pay is not competitive and suitable for the level of training expected. Stores are not given adequate resources, there are stores with no common areas or facilities for the disabled, places with just a sink in the stockroom with a cupboard and this is designated the staff room/kitchen, no tables or chairs for lunch breaks. There were expensive changes with new back office systems and hand held scanners (both of which were implemented too soon and took months before they functioned properly) and yet stores were suffering a recruitment freeze (staying understaffed), told they couldn't cover staff holiday/sickness and told they couldn't even order toilet paper to save money. During my time as a manager I was strict with rotas and adhering to hours allowance, yet staff had incorrect pay and I had to chase this up with payroll and it would take weeks sometimes months to correct the error. Staff safety and well-being is not considered at Holland & Barrett. Staff are expected to lone trade, this will sometimes be all day in a busy h
ConsNo work life balance, LONE TRADING, unrealistic targets, excessive KPIs, no concern for staff welfare, inadequate resources, poor pay, staff shortages/high turnover, poor priorities, incompetent departments.
A typical day at Holland and Barrett involves restocking the shelves, tidying the store and helping customers find products suitable to their needs.
Advising customers requires a great deal of specialised knowledge which is gained through massive amounts of training. The training can be divided into two parts: Workbooks which must be taken home and completed in your own time, you are not paid for these workbooks. The other part is training updates, these come down from head office every few weeks and must also be completed in your own time, except you cannot take these home so expect to be working on them through your lunch break.
Considering that the job requires such huge amounts of knowledge and training, it is very low pay with store associates earning minimum wage until they are more qualified, which earns you a pay rise of 17p per hour. Associates also earn 1% commission on all sales, this may sound like a lot but that 1% is then divided between all members of staff working that day. The commission is also dependant on customer service reviews provided by customers. If the store's total review score is lower than 50% then you will not earn any commission, and if it is lower than 70% you will only earn half of your commission.
You will also be required to travel across the country to attend three training courses. These training courses are paid, travel will be paid back and a £4 lunch allowance is given.
Management is often very poor. Managers have very little idea
Pros25% staff discount, friendly colleagues, a few nice customers
ConsLong hours, lack of communication, unpaid training, early starts, late finishes, awful managers
Obviously I can't speak for the entire H&B estate across the country, but the region I was apart of was appalling.
Where to start? An inexperienced manager who was clearly hired on ability to sell alone and absolutely nothing else (or rather, bully customers into buying products they didn't need). On more than one occasion I was largely doing the manager's job for them, like submitting the staff hours for example. They didn't know how to handle staff, had no clue about the operations of running a store and what's involved, no work ethic (rarely lifted a finger) and took responsibility for absolutely nothing. It was always someone else's fault, 'the internets down', 'the area manager told us the wrong thing', 'head office are useless' etc. More than once I was thrown under the bus, which led me to give up to an extent and become completely disenfranchised. My manager was constantly causing dissent within the team, and put ridiculous twists on comments made, which obviously caused issues and an atmosphere. To top it all off, the store manager would frequently make inaccurate, and even illegal, claims about the products Holland & Barrett sold; probiotics to treat chemotherapy treatment for example and CBD to aid sleep.
The company did not once provide me either physically or digitally with a contract detailing days I was to work. You're told your contracted hours, however even though I could prove with my interview notes my availability from day dot they still tried telli
I began the job with high hopes, seeing the product lines and imagining a warm and welcoming environment, that would nurture and support it's staff, but was soon all too aware that the culture was behind the scenes still stuck in a Wall Street style 'Greed is Good' culture, where area, regional, and above management are entrenched in the mentality that it's perfectly acceptable that staff are thrown into the deep end, after an insufficient amount of training, given arbitrary and inflexible deadlines, regardless of circumstance, forced to run a store Literally single handed, often for days at a time, with no breaks, and then Berated, aggressively, for failing to achieve unrealistic standards.
-You will be expected to aggressively harvest data from customers in order for the company to spam them with 'Offers' that are meant to distract them from the fact that the price of products are creeping up in not small increments. Failure for this is public shaming within the company.
- Part time staff will be given strict and inflexible rotas that split 10 hours a week over sometimes 4 days.
- The Product training can be fascinating, and you can sometimes feel like you've actually made a difference to people, but be aware that the 'Bonuses' that make your salary up to something that approaches reasonable are based on a customer feedback metric that relies on the very small amount of customers that want to enter a prize draw and feel like giving you no less than 9s or 10s. 8 out 10
ProsStaff camaraderie at store level, interesting products, staff discount
ConsBullying culture at Management level, unreasonable expectations, no support or backup
When I first started working there I was excited as I thought it would be an interesting retail role.
I was given a few weeks to get use to the role but immediately I was expected not only to understand how everything worked: computer systems, daily duties etc. But execute every sale perfectly, while having to study in my own time and during my breaks as the store was horrendously understaffed.
Targets set for Membership card, Magazine sales and Counter Offers are ridiculous. No matter how you ask a customer if the want any of the above be prepared to be criticised for not doing it right, ‘don’t ask them, tell them’ or ‘if they say no, keep pushing the benefits’ this drives away sales not encouraging them. More senior staff tend to push customers to the point of bullying them, getting them to buy whatever so they can just finish paying for what they actually wanted.
When a little old lady comes in to buy her dried apricots she’s not going to want a protein bar or men’s magazine, but if you don’t ask you’ll get told off.
When people come into the store my first priority is helping them, I will recommend as many items as I think would be beneficial and don’t push customers to buy everything I recommend. I don’t view the customers as walking bags of money I see them as real people with real problems. And I’m not going to exploit these people issues to squeeze every penny I can out of them. But that is exactly what the management expects of you.
I read these reviews before I started and thought "it can't be that bad" but seriously, it is.
PLEASE don't get a job here, at least not a managerial one. It is salaried and you will feel under paid within a month because of the endless tasks involved.
The bureaucracy involved is incredible, lots of authorization needed to do simple things and tonnes of paperwork. Potential disciplinary proceedings for leaving doors unlocked. Have to pass a test to open and close the store etc
The tills are extremely SLOW and you will often apologize to the customer for the receipt being frustratingly slow to print or the system going offline.
Learning the knowledge is overwhelming at first and you won't get paid for it as a manager and you will definitely have to put in the hours at home. They have brought in a new thing were they pay people for study but as far as I know it only applies to Sales assistants up to Assistant Manager's as they are paid hourly. Potentially, and most often, Assistant Manager's have it good, they have less stress and can out earn store manager's which isn't fair.
I suspect Area Manager's bonuses are linked to store expenditure so they don't care about lone trading which happens all the time! You will be by yourself, giving advice to one customer who needs time and attention and there's a queue at the till or vice versa and it will be you that has to deal with irritated customers not anyone else.
There's other tasks too that you need to concent
Overall not a bad place to work. I was hesitant at first from the reviews, only to discover the management and associates I worked with were quite lovely and supportive. Other store managers and staff were also helpful - only a phone call away to answer queries. Stores seem to help each other out for cover with store associates doing shifts at nearby Stores and being reimbursed for travel expenses, but there are still moments of lone trading which is unacceptable. I was under the impression Head Office are looking into eliminating lone trading, but this was not resolved during my time there. Stockroom and storage systems (for the store I worked in) could do with an upgrade - overhead cabinets are not ideal from both a Sales and Safety perspective.
There is alot of e-learning and product knowledge which at first glance is quite overwhelming, but its all informative and really does help with customer engagment and finding the right products for them. I also appreciated the communication through their "Hub" - it made it easy to access e-learning, log IT issues, etc. and get updates on new promotions so you could be prepared for the next big task or product launch. I was given time to work on the e-learning in store on the clock or found time in-between tasks, particularly on days when the shop was quiet. Most days there is plenty of tasking to do along with being proactive with customers so you're always busy.
KPIs such as Sales Targets, Counter Unit sales, and Loyalty Card e
ProsDiscount on products Supportive culture Opportunities for progression
ConsFrequent lone trading Fluctuation of hours and schedule changes Challenging KPIs
Questions and answers about Holland & Barrett
How does someone get hired at Holland & Barrett? What are the steps along the way?
Asked 28 Mar 2017
Answered 20 Dec 2021
An interest in supplements, health (even though not much is truly healthy there)
They are usually desperate for staff, and don't always screen staff properly.
Answered 3 Nov 2021
What is the organisational culture at Holland & Barrett?
Asked 10 Jan 2018
It’s not organised. They couldn’t run a p&@s up in a brewery
Answered 23 Feb 2021
Very pushy and hard selling. Definitely money first, supposed to be selling the customer what they need but its more about selling each customer at least three items per basket and transaction value of no less than £17 even if they have only come in for a snack. Then you have to sell them a magazine, sign them up for the loyalty scheme, sell them something from the counter. Like I said very pushy and profit first, staff? Bottom of the heap
Answered 29 Aug 2020
What is the work dress code?
Asked 10 Apr 2017
All black uniform
Answered 30 Oct 2020
Far too strict I don't care who serves me as long as they know what they are o about coudnt give a monkeys
Answered 6 Sept 2018
What is the work environment and culture like at Holland & Barrett?
Asked 14 Feb 2019
Friendly and relaxed
Answered 17 Mar 2022
Ok in the smaller shops when it's just you and one other staff member, but the larger shop; where there are several staff in at one time, could get a bit cliquey
Answered 9 Dec 2021
How do you feel about going to work at Holland & Barrett each day?