John Lewis is best high street chain to work for but which are the worst?


Ever worked at a high street retailer? If so, then you’ll have some idea what the pros and cons are.

According to job reviews site Glassdoor, John Lewis gets the highest rating out of the 15 big retailers it compared.

Morrisons, Debenhams and Selfridges received the lowest average scores from the people who rated their employer online.

Here’s the full set of scores:

Retailers rated

Employees in their own words


Pro: “Great staff; good bonus plus discount; nice hours.” – ASDA Sales Assistant (Hereford)

Con: “Inadequate training is given. Regularly left with less than half the colleagues needed to run a department; there have been days where it has just been myself in a department.”-ASDA Customer Service Assistant (Aberdeen)


Pro: “Management adhere well to a ‘what you put in is what you get’ work style, which is great for those who deliver what’s expected from them as benefits such as flexibility with hours and leniency is reflected.”- B&Q Sales Associate (Croydon)

Con: “Good ideas ignored by management from staff then implemented at a later date as their own. Inexperienced staff at all levels including management.
Low wages.” – B&Q Trade Expert, Glasgow


Pro: “Fast paced in bigger stores. Good discount. Good pay increase after working for a year. Make some great friends with co-workers! Fairly interesting job; opportunity to contribute to different areas of the store.”- Boots Customer Assistant (Edinburgh)

Con: “Poor salary and not as people-led as they may say, poor systems in place and unless in a large store you are faced with an uphill challenge every day. No new opportunities available or provided from HR.”- Boots Store Manager (Glasgow)


Pro: “Its encouraging to go to a place where people work as a team, can socialize outside work and you are respected for your hard work.Managers and supervisors are open and honest. They also listen to suggestions.”- Debenhams Sales Assistant (Dundee)

Con: “First of all I applied to be a Xmas Temp Sales Advisor, was inducted and trained as one with the other temps but ended up being the only one placed in STOCK MOVEMENT, I found this out AFTER I was trained in something completely different!! “- Debenhams Stock Movement (Nuneaton)


Pro: “Great new stores coming through and nice to work for senior management that genuinely care about a) customers and b) bringing colleagues from across the business closer together.”- Dixons Social Media Role (Hemel Hempstead)

Con: “The management have no empathy for their staff concerns or needs. Breaks seem to be a luxury and you have to be prepared to leave lunch half eaten and probably not finish it either.”- Dixons Sales Adviser (Canterbury)


Pro: “Great employee benefits, nice colleagues, working hours were good as well. The job itself was interesting and varied. You got to work with different departments and different managers.” – Harrods Customer Loyalty Adviser (London)

Con: “Rude customers, have to stand for long periods of time.”- Harrods Sales Associate (London)

John Lewis

Pro: “Everyone is very friendly and supportive, they really do help you develop as a sales assistant and make your time there as enjoyable as possible. You work harder because you’re all in it together it makes you feel like a family.”- John Lewis Sales Assistant (Peterborough)

Con: “The salary range currently at JL is lower than it is at Waitrose, the salary is generally slightly lower than market rate and career progression is more difficult than elsewhere.”- John Lewis Assistant Buyer (London)


Pro: “Great working environment and very good chance of promotion.”- Marks & Spencer Assistant Project Engineer (Nottingham)

Con: “Very hard to work without any form of management. Felt that we worked for something without any scope or plan.”- Marks & Spencer Senior Art Director (London)


Pro: “10% discount on almost everything as well as partner stores.  Friendly atmosphere, impressive extensive training programs such as Morrisons Academy and management training programs.”- Morrisons Butcher (Bristol)

Con: “As an employee of nearly 10 years at the Reddish store I care for the company and can see it going the wrong direction for the last 18months.”- Morrisons Department Manager (Stockport)


Pro: “Nice place to start whilst studying, flexibility is great. Offers weekends, weekdays, 4-8 hour shifts. Learned so much whilst being there.”- Primark Sales Assistant (London)

Con: “If you are good at what you do the upper management seems to like to keep you there. This can prove a stumbling block when applying for promotion.”- Primark Sales Associate (West Thurrock)


Pro: “It is a wonderful place to work. Everyone is friendly and everyone is nice to one another, it gives you a real family feeling like you’re part of something. Even on your first shift it’s apparent.”- Sainsbury’s Bakery Assistant (Cambridge)

Con: “Growing increasingly political, the historic ‘family’ atmosphere being eroded by narcissistic management, which will probably only get worse with King’s departure.”- Sainsbury’s Senior Manager (London)


Pro: “Staff members are all friendly, professional and hard working.” – Selfridges Stock Keeper (London)

Con: “Customer is King but the staff who need to serve them are treated like second rate citizens; Offices are dated, overcrowded, staff toilets awful, canteen food mostly inedible; HR are appalling, poor at reacting to issues and resolving problems, disorganised and ineffective.”- Selfridges IT Manager (London)


Pro: “Really interesting work from the perspective of everybody already knows the business as most people have shopped there and can think of ways to improve it!Really friendly peers there and Tesco is great for your CV!”- Tesco IT Architect (Welwyn Garden City)

Con: “When you get to team leader/management level there is a lot of pressure with not a lot of support. Not a lot of good encouragement or incentives to work hard. You are expected to work extra hours without pay so unless you are dedicated to the company, stay at general assistant level.”- Tesco Front End Team Leader (Havant)


Pro: “Friendly, youthful atmosphere; comprehensive training; tidy little bonus at the end of the year for all partners.”- Waitrose Shop Assistant (London)

Con: “Management don’t listen to employees, there are not enough people employed and we don’t get paid enough for what we are expected to do.”- Waitrose Customer Service Assistant (Sheffield)


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