The Container Store
Employer Reviews
Interview  
Jan 18, 2008
Position
Customer Service
Work Dates
Apr 2006 - Jan 2008
Location
Portland, OR
Work Environment

Casual, open-door, team-oriented,

Review

A cool store with cool products, a cool culture, and cool employees. The container store consistently ranks as one of the fortune 100 best companies to work for. The pay is good for part time retail $10hr and you get a discount on merchandise. The store has a cool and funky vibe to it. They pride themselves on customer service so you are expected to deliver the best service to the customer. They are very selective on who they hire. The culture is friendly but the downside is you don’t get many hours if you are part time. They do have a set schedule so you work the same hour every week which is convenient.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Oct 16, 2008
Position
Sales Asscociate
Work Dates
Dec 2007 - Oct 2008
Work Environment

Strict, fast-paced,

Review

Don't buy the hype about The Container Store being one of the best places to work. They parade that fortune list around because that's all they have. You get no hours working here and they are extremely inflexible regarding hours. You get a fixed schedule that cannot change. You can't switch shifts with another worker under any circumstance. The container store has their some ridiculous rules. Dress is casual which is nice.

Pay

$14.00 an hour.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Nov 3, 2008
Work Dates
Dec 2003 - Dec 2007
Work Environment

Team-oriented, fast-paced, disorganized, political, bureaucratic, unprofessional,

Review

Great customers, employees and products. Horrible hours and difficult to get time off. They try to create a company culture, but it is very lame and pointless. Overall nice management, but not experienced or effective. They used to value creativity and intuition, but now they just value profit and loss. Too bad.

Pay

Seasonal: $10/hour. Full time: $14.50-16/hour. 2 weeks vacation for full time. Offer Health Benefits and 401k, but you have to pay for all of them. Bonuses for finding new employees that are generous, $50-500.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Dec 14, 2008
Work Dates
Dec 2007 - Dec 2008
Review

The Container Store has changed and they are no longer the company they once where. They have cut back on benefits/pay for employees significantly. There unique culture has faded away and they are just a run of the mill retailer now.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Feb 22, 2009
Position
Manhattan Logistics
Work Dates
Sep 2007 - Dec 2008
Location
New York, NY
Work Environment

Hierarchical, disorganized, bureaucratic, unprofessional,

Review

Working at The Container Store was the worst experience. The supervisors are ineffective, disrespectful and unbelievably rude. The company culture as it was conceived many years ago has morphed into a cult-like environment. Smile and pretend to be happy or ELSE! It doesn't matter how hard you work either, because it wont be acknowledged. As if that weren't enough, the actual environment in the dungeon-like stockroom is moldy, crumbling and a breeding ground for all kinds of rashes and respiratory illnesses. But don't call in sick as a result because your job will then be on the line. The pay rate is also vastly different for everyone with most people of color beginning at a much lower rate. Finally, the company has fallen victim to the recent economic downturn as have many retailers, but The Container Store continues to hire seasonal employees during "high" volume sale campaigns and then forces their loyal, EXPERIENCED employees to BATTLE for hours with the SEASONAL employees. Not only do you have to train the new employees, pick up their slack and essentially do double the work, but they then take your hours. This company has so many underhanded,backward, and destrucitve policies. Its a mess.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Mar 9, 2009
Position
Sales/Visual
Work Dates
Oct 2004 - Mar 2009
Location
RATHER NOT SAY, AL
Work Environment

Hierarchical, strict, cut-throat, conservative, competitive, fast-paced, political, high-pressure, bureaucratic, unprofessional,

Review

Cult-like, disrespect from managers and especially customers, no acknowledgment for hard work, hard work does not equal good pay, not allowed to yawn, not allowed to sit down, not allowed to defend yourself or express any negative emotions, you HAVE to take the abuse, sexual harassment, age and sex discrimination, no benefits, they don't care if you get sick or injured unless they have to call an ambulance for you, your responsibilities and actions will not reflect your job title (ex. you will have managerial responsibilities while not being properly compensated because you have the lowest job title.) Lack of people of color (can count them on 1 hand), any sarcastic remarks are taken as aggressive non-tcs behavior, deny training for those who request it, force unwanted training on others, do not help with coverage (ex. if you are sick or need vacation time, it is your personal responsibility to find someone to cover for you and you better hope that person is reliable or else you look really bad). Degrading, disrespectful and inhumane. Your family means nothing, work is #1 and if you have other priorities such as other jobs, school, family, hobbies--you can forget that because you are expected to eat sleep and breathe tcs even if you are not on the clock.

Pay

$10 starting- current pay $11

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Jun 18, 2009
Position
Part-Time
Work Dates
Jun 2003 - Jun 2009
Work Environment

Casual, strict, fast-paced, political, bureaucratic,

Review

Love the people I work with. New scheduling system, which is automated now. The computer picks who works when and what they do. Talk about losing the personal touch! Part-timers work 3 hour shifts! Really not worth it, especially if the shift is in the middle of the day! They hire great people, so why not give them more hours and stop hiring? Treat those great people with respect, we are "people" after all, not a number. Upper management doesn't get it, they have lost the people connection. Whatever you do, don't complain. If you don't "embrace" it, you are on the black list and will be treated so badly you leave....you will want to leave. They don't value you as a person with an opinion. They don't want to hear it. Even employees that have been there 10 yrs or more. Give them 10 yrs of good dependable work and say something wrong, then receive 6 hrs a week. Sad. I think TCS will fall even further down the Fortune list next year, if they are even on it!

Pay

Salary is all over the place, depends on how much they like you. Pay for one person is $3 lower than another, same experience, same position, same good work ethic, etc. A new hire, no experience, was brought in at a higher pay than this person who had worked there for years. Salary freeze with no date of lifting it. Stopped matching 401K. PT insurance isn't worth it. They are making all these cuts to PT people but their FT employees have only had to endure the salary freeze. They are still taking their 4-6 six weeks vacations and enjoying nice benefits.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Jun 30, 2009
Position
Full Time Sales
Work Dates
Oct 2007 - Jun 2009
Work Environment

Hierarchical, strict, cut-throat, competitive, fast-paced, high-pressure, bureaucratic,

Review

The last posting (and, frankly, the other less than glowing postings) are correct. However, I need to clarify one thing regarding statements about full-time employees. We suffer along with the P/T folks. Yes, your hours have been cut. But don't just think that we only lost the salary review. Like all P/T folk, we lost the match to the 401-K. We lost standard schedules, and we lost wellness incentives...just like P/T staff. And we also deal with the same "be happy or else" management style too. On a final note, P/T or F/T, we were all hired because we are great people (well, at least most of us ;-). Not having the P/T staff that we came to rely on for floor coverage, OP, maintenance work, etc. really hurts too. So, please, if you're a P/T employee reading this, realize that F/T employees feel your pain too!

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Jan 15, 2010
Work Dates
Jan 1999 - Jan 2010
Work Environment

Hierarchical, cut-throat, political, unprofessional,

Review

Do not work for this place. I have supported the store and management, worked terrible hours, put up with miserable managers and just put up with their crap. The hours are so undependable and the schedule changes weekly, many part-time employees need 1 or 2 part-time jobs along with their TCS job. I picked up a part-time job which was spending time with my grandchildren and guess what? No schedule for me. I have been with this hell hole for 11 years and that is the thanks I get. So save yourself a lot of greef and skip the TCS job.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Feb 26, 2010
Position
Pt
Work Dates
Feb 1998 - Feb 2010
Location
DFW, TX
Work Environment

Hierarchical, cut-throat, political, high-pressure, bureaucratic, unprofessional,

Review

Don't waste your time with The Container Store. I wasted to many years of my life. I feel so much better since I no longer have to go there.

Pay

Looking back I can only think of cons. I am so disappointed in upper management...shame on all of them!

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Jun 17, 2010
Position
FT/PT Sales
Work Dates
Dec 1997 - Dec 2002
Work Environment

Hierarchical, cut-throat, disorganized, political, high-pressure, bureaucratic,

Review

There are a few pros: casual dress; quality staff on the sales floor (more on management later) fair pay, usually above industry average but that may not be for much longer, and a good concept once upon a time.

I stared out part-time and worked my way up. Much of my success came from advancing only because other sales staff grew frustrated with the company, its penchant for abusing labor laws, keeping you on the sales floor past your lunch break, making you work a register shift and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with no restroom or lunch break. At first I thought these were isolated incidents early in my tenure and with new management things would get better.

This never really happened.

One telling clue was: whenever we hired seasonal workers for the elfa sale, they never came back the next year when we advertised we were hiring. They often told me, "This company is not what they said it was."

I can tell you 1999 was a bell-weather year. We had a huge change in operations and personnel. For one, John, a key founder of the company and more of a background player on specific operations, cashed in his stock and retired. For Kip, the CEO, this must have felt like liberty hall. John, the more sane and conservative member of the founding trio, strongly advised against opening in certain markets because of high costs of operation and turbulent employment base. With John out of the way, Kip acted like Joel in the movie "Risky Business" and treated this company like his dad's Porche. (If you don't know what happened to the Porche, put "Risky Business" in your Netflix cue. It's a preview of what will happen to TCS.

Also in 1999 TCS began getting noticed in the media. The Fortune Magazine pony prize hit and the attention went to Kip's and Garrett's heads. They grew more interested in getting noticed and generating press releases as opposed to keeping operations running smoothly. In fact, my manager warned us that "nothing means more to Kip" than getting recognized by Fortune.

In 1999 TCS purchased elfa, mostly because another retailer was about to make a bid for that company and really, not much distinguishes TCS from Bed Bath & Beyond or Linens & Things. We went into very big debt and within a year Kip fired the CFO Keath Hance, with Kip assuming Keath's role. From that point on, every year the elfa sale grew more chaotic. Every year there was another lame excuse from corporate why the components weren't coming so customers could complete their closets in a timely manner. In my last year there the supply chain management was horrific. We were telling elfa sale customers in January their shelf brackets would arrive in early February. Then that changed to March. Then April. You can't fill customer's baskets with empty promises, but Kip thinks you can snow anyone by keeping your rank with Fortune Magazine.

Lastly, the in-store politics and weird mind games, the playing favorites and management suck-ups utterly ruin any value to someone who prizes (and was raised on prizing) a good work ethic. The company is cutting hours for part-timers and giving them only 3 hour shifts 2-3 times a week, but will not commit to a schedule so part-timers can find another job or take college courses, as retail is a suspect career move. Other full-timers hang with management in the back all day. Then management claims it never gets work done so we have to put more people in the back.

Store managers were (and still are) often two-faced and clueless. Because they remained in the back office all day they never tried to connect with sales staff who carried the load. In my store there were cliques who buddied up with the manager, joining that manager for extra long lunches (even when they weren't scheduled to do so) leaving the floor unsupervised, no help in elfa, no closet planner on the scene, and no one trained to work the cutting station. The SST (Super Sales Trainer) was ironically a silly-slob of a guy who charmed everyone but couldn't finish a household project he started, leaving his wife to call the store and complain to him he "left another mess." So much for organization and embracing values. For my money, if you can't practice what you preach to your customers, can you really qualify yourself as an "expert in organization?"

My ending statement (and believe me, I could go on) is "Don't Buy The Hype."

Pay

FT Sales $28k (market-Texas; other markets may vary)
Two weeks vacation and 5 paid holidays (but I rarely got to use them all and one year lost 1/2 my vacation covering other managers)
No bonuses for top sellers
Perks as mentioned at top of post.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Jun 26, 2010
Position
pt sales
Work Dates
Jun 2010 - Jun 2010
Work Environment

Hierarchical, cut-throat, political, unprofessional,

Review

The 40%-50% discount is quite enticing, and I am convinced it is the main reason they have any employee base at all. Working at The Container Store is the equivalent of Cheer Camp, on a corporate scale. Retaliation and Public Humiliation should be added to the ever growing list of 'Foundation Principles' which are RARELY exhibited by management and upper management. Any negative, or sarcastic comment, even questioning motives and actions of management (which in my experience is undeserving and under-qualified) is deemed as 'ungracious', insubordination, and destructive, often resulting in being blackballed, hours cut, and 'action plans' based on lies and twisted situations.

On several occasions, my timestamps were deleted, I was "called" by management, without ANY proof of notification/voicemail on my end, and written up for "avoiding responsibility". I was called off on 8 occasions due to weather conditions (level 2 snow emergency,a.k.a. 17" of snow on my street a.k.a. don't drive unless you're going to the hospital) and slow sales. All 8 of these occasions were listed as "unexcused absences", resulting in an action plan. I was scheduled for overnights (which we were promised when hired did not exist in our 'culture'), on days I was unavailable and out of town, and reprimanded for all of the above. When approaching management of the low morale of the team, and general unrest of employees, I was probed for names and quotes and told I was unwilling to resolve the issue when I refused to be the rat.

The list goes on and on -- Management feeling threatened by the great talent of the sales team, and forcing out the experience and well liked. Hiring advertisements and promises of benefits were not kept, and hadn't been for 3 years PRIOR to being made. Phony, disingenuous and SAD because I really do love their products (which most can be found cheaper else where.)

Pay

11/hr ---- almost $4 less an hour than the company average. No vacation time, no bonuses [regardless of the $400 promised], no reimbursements or perks of any kind - other than generous discount.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Jul 7, 2010
Position
PT Sales
Work Dates
Aug 2007 - Jul 2010
Location
2 locations so far, AL
Work Environment

Casual, creative, open-door, supportive, team-oriented, fast-paced, political,

Review

Great PT coworkers. Pay was based on whether sales position or a person who does the super hard merchandise processing shifts, which accounts for pay fluctuations on these reviews. The benefits that were taken away that most people complain about were removed to save the company money so more stores could be opened and no one would be officially laid off due to the recession. Of course no date was given for raises and fantastic benefits to come back- we were hit with a recession that no one was sure would end soon. Employees that embraced decisions like that and stayed with the company now know when they will be coming back. Even better is that no one actually lost anything during the recession- we kept our amazing discounts and great pay.

Incredibly smart company- no horrible, depressing three months of returns that most retailers go through following holiday season. Instead that time is filled with a big sale for its best selling product. It's true that often manager favorites get better treatment, would be awesome if part-time team opinion was taken in during in-house hiring processes. The small amount of rude customers is completely outweighed by all the great, fun customers that come in.

The communication in this company is unsurpassed. If you choose to check your resources and trust their business decisions, you'll do well. Differing opinions are expected and welcomed. Gossip and unprofessional behavior will get you no where when you are expected to act like an adult.

Pay

Hourly $14, promptly received hiring bonuses for employees that stayed 90 days. PT team is also offered various health benefits that come out of check. PT team receives paid vacation time during the third year of employment.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Nov 2, 2010
Position
F/T
Work Dates
Oct 2006 - Nov 2010
Work Environment

Casual, creative, supportive, team-oriented, fast-paced, flexible schedule,

Review

I had to laugh after reading all the negitives posted about TCS. I have never worked at a retail store that offers more support, communication and resources to help you suceed, than this company. Yes the hours are difficult but thats life in retail. I have worked all the shifts from early morning merchandising to truck unload to eight hour sales shifts, and have none of the experiances listed in some of the other reviews. Sour grapes because you can't hack a job that requires some level of commitment and thought on your part? Good Luck to you.

Pay

5 sick days, 15 vacation days plus birthday and anniversary, recruitment bonus

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Apr 24, 2011
Position
manager
Work Dates
Jun 2001 - Apr 2011
Location
Houston, TX
Review

Firing employees for purchasing product for other "non" dependents.

Maybe they should have just STLOEN it!!

This is a sad period.

An employee of 8 years was suspended pending termination because he bought merchandise and gave it to his uncle. Once owned, who cares?

Where's the malice? Where's the deception?

After you own Itunes for a year, do you re-read the user agreement?? Oh wait, did you ever read it?? Of course he didn't.

Joan Manson IS the issue. She is the VP of loss Prevention / Risk Control & whatever may indulge her ego.

Point being, rather than addressing real issues (You know, like the over flowing stockrooms, Lack of safety training certificates, etc.) she is concerned about employees who have made purchases not in line with the recent "updated" employee agreement.

Absolutely absurd, yet very sad.

I hope Kip can travel and get a "pulse" from the employees.... The dust has not settled.

For those who can remember, Pacific Stereo, once the "leader" in electronic home supply, went through a similar internal virus. Unfortunately, they did not heed the warning signs.

History is a valuable reference.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Oct 2, 2011
Position
Part Time Sales
Work Dates
Feb 2010 - Oct 2011
Work Environment

Strict, supportive, team-oriented, flexible schedule,

Review

TCS let me be who I was. Management never chided me for being too loud or never making great numbers. They always pushed me in a healthy way to be the best I could. There are some inconsistencies, like the ability for any member of the staff to give a customer a discount as they see appropriate, but extremely strict rules on who can partake of the employee discount along with you. The unorganized stock room could just be a feature of my store, and that was extremely frustrating. Since they hire great people, I loved the staff I worked with and the communication through the store really does make things move smoother. When my availability went down to two days a week, management was very supportive and helped me get enough hours as I needed. At the end of the day, I loved working for this company and will absolutely return as a customer.

Pay

$10.00 an hour starting pay, vacations always approved.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Nov 4, 2011
Position
Part-time sales
Location
Natick, MA
Work Environment

Hierarchical, strict, fast-paced, old-fashioned, political,

Review

I had the same experience as many other employees and am surprised to see the same problems exist at so many different locations. I think the day they handed out the we love our employees t-shirts did it for many of us. Alot of unhappy people working at the Natick location and no accountability for management. Hard to understand how they make the Fortune 100 list.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Feb 16, 2012
Position
Part-time Visual Sales
Work Dates
Jun 2010 - Feb 2012
Location
Rockville, MD
Review

To the credit of my store's managers (opposed to the inactive ones seen at other stores), I frequently see them out on the sales floor or behind the registers. While sometimes they are slow in processing schedule change requests (the new computer system has a lot of bugs that have yet to be worked out), overall they have been very good about accommodating my changing schedule at my full-time job. The work itself keeps me busy, and there are a few coworkers that I look forward to seeing at each shift.

Those are the pros. But there are quite a few cons (Side note to those who love the company: please express your love without insulting those of us with legitimate complaints. The complaints aren't because we "couldn't hack it," but because there are problems within the system.). The biggest is, you're expected to have a very specific type of personality; bubbly and cheerleader-like. I totally agree with whoever posted before about the similarities to "Cheer Camp." I thought that because I wouldn't be working with customers that I could be my usual, introverted self. I was wrong. I got reamed out a few times because I didn't regularly make small talk with other employees. One manager said "you have to love your job and show it," which sounds a little like the thought police.
When the managers missed the official time for my annual review, they pulled me off my shift and talked to me (mostly about being chattier with the rest of the staff) for twenty minutes, time I should have been working. Other employees have also said that their reviews are often behind schedule, or don't happen at all without prompting. I found this very unprofessional.
Favoritism is rampant (even if the "favorite" is totally incompetent, which I've seen), as is gossip. On practically every shift, I hear employees talking about other employees behind their backs, while being smiley and extremely friendly to their faces, and they try to get me in on it too.
In agreement with past posts, the environment is very cult-like. Training consists of 40 percent useful job information, 60 percent indoctrination. After about 20 minutes on my first day, I got sick of hearing about the greatness of the company. The store meetings are the same. We drag ourselves there early on a weekend morning (even if we only work one or two days a week) to endure silly role-playing exercises (even for those of us who don't work sales shifts) and more indoctrination from our company leaders. Then there's the ridiculous company vocabulary. What does calling part-time workers "prime-time" really accomplish?
I've gone on for more than my share. If you're a happy, bubbly extrovert, you'll probably be fine. If you're anything else, steer clear.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Mar 6, 2012
Position
P/T
Work Environment

Casual, creative, open-door, conservative, fast-paced, political, bureaucratic,

Review

Pros: To be honest the container store is better than other retail stores, I have worked retail before and know how it is. One thing that stood out the most was the review that they put someone to work from 10 am to 5 pm without break, well that's because you have to ask for 15 min since that's legally demanded, if you didn't ask that's your fault and loss, they made it very clear to us on the second week and everyone can ask for 15 min. As far as personality wise, I know a co-worker who isn't and does not have the bubbly personality and he's still working. Maybe you've felt like you were discriminated against because you didn't have that personality, but in any job you can't go all sad and mad. At least try to smile! The pay is ok, everyone at my store has a second job either way, so it's not the greatest. So far I have not had a problem with my schedule, they're very conscious that I go to school and they support me. Everyone is very friendly and offer to help.
Cons: Gossip is a big thing at this store, these people have nothing else than to focus on their job and talk about everyone's life, just keep your mouth shut and don't trust anyone. Sometimes you have to work during your lunch break. but then you can have break. If you're with a customer, you can't just leave them and eat, finish with the customer and then go. They are very conservative and you do have to follow the foundation principles which can be annoying, especially when they all love the company. But for the most part, it's been ok. It's not a job I plan on staying forever.

Pay

I had a family emergency and they didn't get mad or anything, they understood.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Feb 26, 2013
Position
Part-Time
Work Dates
May 2010 - Feb 2013
Location
Atlanta, GA
Review


This is a business, people. They are not running a non-profit.

"My hours got cut....wahhhhh, wahhhh". So you think they should just pay people to stand around and front and straighten because they should just be nice to you ?

TCS is the absolute "top of the food chain" in retail. If you were overlooked for a promotion, that's a you problem. Learn from it. They saw something in you that was a flaw in your ability to positively contribute to the company.

Pay

Pros: learning assloads about high end retail.

Cons: No Christmas turkey.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No
Aug 15, 2014
Position
Part Time - Sales
Work Dates
Mar 2014 - Aug 2014
Location
New York, NY
Work Environment

Creative, open-door, supportive, team-oriented, fast-paced,

Review

Man the retail world is a messed up place where lazy people who push credit cards onto customers will advance fast and hard workers with good sales / customer connections will fall short. I'm not sure about the complaints on here about The Container STore but my experience is and has been nothing but awesome. They practice what they preach, good pay, clean place to work. I've never felt un-appreciated working at The Container Store. There's a really good communication between Sales Associates and Management and the management all communicate with eachother about everything. So if I did something good, every manager knows about it.

Pros: Communication, great PT benefits, clean, friendly, best pay in retail, good discount, learn how to build and install things, not just sell them. Learn how to design solutions. Learn how to solve problems, not sell products.

Cons: 8 hour shift on registers = No body likes it unless you're new. To avoid this, advertise yourself in other areas and grow and learn about other things. Don't complain, give registers 500% of your being.

They will let you go on your breaks, and nobody will tell you that you can't go to the bathroom, thats just ridiculous. But nobody will tell you WHEN if your break is not scheduled. So you kind of just have some freedom to take care of things when you need to. Its kind of nice not having someone tell you when to take a break or ask if you can go to the bathroom. Its seems more adult.

Also, sometimes it feels like working at a Disney Musical, I mean, not in a bad way, but theres random cheering and clapping for somewhat trivial things. Joining in on the lunacy will be the best experience for you.

Was this Review Helpful? Yes / No