The Culture At Barnes & Noble

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And best of all, you'll be part of a company that is consistently rated as a great place to work - and where employees love what they do.

Barnes & Noble Overview

Barnes & Noble, Inc., is an American bookseller.
The staff at Barnes & Noble come from unusually diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 60.2% female and 38.9% ethnic minorities. Despite its diversity in other areas, Barnes & Noble employees are noticeably lacking in political diversity. It has an unusually high proportion of employees who are members of the Democratic Party, at 86.0%. Employees seem to enjoy working in an otherwise diverse workplace that is dominated by members of the Democratic Party. Barnes & Noble has great employee retention with staff members usually staying with the company for 3.7 years. The average employee at Barnes & Noble makes $32,230 per year. In comparison, some of its highest paying competitors, like Gap, Teavana, and Books-A-Million, pay $38,929, $37,948, and $35,343, respectively.
Barnes & Noble is an industry leader with 15,557 employees and an annual revenue of $3.6B that is headquartered in New York, NY.

The Organization’s Mission

To operate the best omni-channel specialty retail business in America, helping both our customers and booksellers reach their aspirations, while being a credit to the communities we serve.







Founded in



New York, NY


Organization Type


Is This Your Company?

Barnes & Noble Employee Reviews

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Zippia UserJanuary 2022


Zippia Official LogoZippia UserJanuary 2022

What Do You Like About Working There?

Books to read and nice CO workers

What DON'T You Like About Working There?

Well nothing just needs more benefits

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

My favorite benefit is the friendly environment.
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Zippia UserNovember 2021


Zippia Official LogoZippia UserNovember 2021

What Do You Like About Working There?


What DON'T You Like About Working There?

very poor pay scale, poor corporate, no benefits, workload doesn't match pay

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

discount on books
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Zippia UserSeptember 2021


Zippia Official LogoZippia UserSeptember 2021

What Do You Like About Working There?


What DON'T You Like About Working There?

Nothing, maybe a little favoritism

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

Free knowledge, free books and discounts
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Zippia UserJuly 2021


Zippia Official LogoZippia UserJuly 2021

What Do You Like About Working There?

Casual retail environment, local management is respectful and appreciative.

What DON'T You Like About Working There?

No upward mobility or full time status available at this time.

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

Great atmosphere and employee discount.
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Zippia UserMay 2021


Zippia Official LogoZippia UserMay 2021

What Do You Like About Working There?

Workplace culture is great socially as all employees typically have a desire to work among books so everyone will almost always have something in common in terms of hobbies. Employee input on store changes is usually valued. The wide variety of stock makes the job more interesting as there is something that almost anyone would be interested in

What DON'T You Like About Working There?

Pay rate is low for the large amount of work and efficiency required of even the entry level booksellers. Higher ups value efficiency over all things which makes for a stressful and high-paced environment. Above all else it is no different than other retail jobs

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

Employee discount for books and café makes the lower pay worth it
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The Team At Barnes & Noble

  • James Daunt (Chief Executive Officer)
  • Charles Barnes (Founders)
  • G. Noble (Founders)
  • Leonard Riggio (Founder & Non-Executive Chairman)
  • William Barnes (Founders)

Barnes & Noble Company Rankings

Barnes & Noble is ranked #21 on the Best Retail Companies to Work For in New York list. Zippia's Best Places to Work lists provide unbiased, data-based evaluations of companies. Rankings are based on government and proprietary data on salaries, company financial health, and employee diversity.

Read more about how we rank companies.

Barnes & Noble Salaries

How much does Barnes & Noble pay?
The national average salary for a Barnes & Noble employee in the United States is $32,230 per year. Employees in the top 10 percent can make over $61,000 per year, while employees at the bottom 10 percent earn less than $16,000 per year.
Salary Score
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Average Employee Earnings

Barnes & Noble Salaries By Job Title

While the average employee salary at Barnes & Noble is $32,230, there is a big variation in pay depending on the role. Some of the positions that earn high wages at Barnes & Noble include Quality Assurance Engineer, Merchandising Manager, Sales Leader, and Bookkeeper. A typical Quality Assurance Engineer salary at Barnes & Noble is $101,353 per year. To get a better sense of the salaries at Barnes & Noble, other roles such as Cafe Server and Cashier can be considered as well. For comparison, the title Cafe Server at Barnes & Noble earns $26,056 per year.
Average Salarydesc
Quality Assurance Engineer
Salary Range85k - 120k$101k$101,353
Merchandising Manager
Salary Range76k - 100k$87k$87,407
Sales Leader
Salary Range47k - 106k$71k$71,469
Salary Range35k - 46k$41k$40,741
Salary Range27k - 56k$40k$39,811
Department Lead
Salary Range29k - 41k$35k$35,248
Salary Range29k - 42k$35k$35,185
Administrative Assistant
Salary Range30k - 40k$35k$34,983
Assistant Store Manager
Salary Range30k - 39k$35k$34,927
Lead Bookseller
Salary Range28k - 35k$32k$32,126

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Barnes & Noble Careers

On average, employees at Barnes & Noble stay with the company for 3.7 years. Employees most commonly join Barnes & Noble after leaving Starbucks. When they leave Barnes & Noble, they most frequently get their next job at Starbucks.

Average Length of Employment

Top Employers Before Barnes & Noble

Top Employers After Barnes & Noble

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Barnes & Noble Employee Demographics

Diversity Score
We calculated the diversity score of companies by measuring multiple factors, including the ethnic background, gender identity, and language skills of their workforce.



39.8 %


60.2 %



61.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.8 %

Black or African American

11.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


55.9 %


13.3 %


5.5 %
See More About Barnes & Noble Demographics

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Barnes & Noble Employees Education

Of the 15,557 employees at Barnes & Noble, 8.5% attended New York University. Employees at Barnes & Noble most frequently majored in Business, and most employees’ highest level of education is a Bachelors.


New York University

8.5 %

University of Central Florida

7.0 %

University of South Florida

6.9 %



15.0 %


12.9 %


9.6 %



57.7 %


16.7 %

High School Diploma

15.7 %

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Barnes & Noble Employee Political Affiliation

Barnes & Noble employees are most likely to be members of the Democratic Party. The largest donation made to a political party by a Barnes & Noble employee was by Robert Barnes. Robert Barnes donated $86,855 to the Democratic Party.


Democratic Party

86.9 %

Republican Party

11.4 %

Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party

0.8 %

Green Party

0.4 %

Employee Political Donations

NameJob TitlePartyDonation
Robert BarnesAttorneyDemocratic Party$86,855
Leonard RiggioChairpersonDemocratic Party$56,900
Patranell LewisAttorneyDemocratic Party$20,000
Leornard RiggioChairpersonDemocratic Party$14,000
Kevin GonzalezVice PresidentDemocratic Party$11,733
George KlettExecutiveRepublican Party$9,750
LEN RiggioPresidentDemocratic Party$7,600
Lisa AllanBooksellerDemocratic Party$5,500
Riggio LeonardChairpersonDemocratic Party$5,000
Max RobertsChief Executive OfficerRepublican Party$5,000
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Barnes & Noble Financial Performance

Performance Score
We calculated the performance score of companies by measuring multiple factors, including revenue, longevity, and stock market performance.


> $1B

Founded in


Organization type


Barnes & Noble Financing Rounds

DateAmountSecurity Type
Apr 30, 2012$300,000,000Post Ipo Equity

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Barnes & Noble Competitors

Some of the competitors of Barnes & Noble are Gap, Teavana, and Books-A-Million. The average salaries at Gap rank the highest, with their employees earning an average salary of $38,929 per year. The employees at Teavana earn an average yearly salary of $37,948 per year, and the salaries at Books-A-Million average $35,343 per year.
Average Salarydesc
Salary Range27k - 55k$39k$38,929
Salary Range25k - 56k$38k$37,948
Salary Range27k - 46k$35k$35,343
Hobby Lobby
Salary Range29k - 42k$35k$34,996
Petco Holdings
Salary Range24k - 49k$35k$34,834

Stein Mart

Salary Range26k - 44k$34k$34,300
Foot Locker
Salary Range24k - 46k$34k$33,760
Natural Grocers
Salary Range27k - 39k$33k$33,035
Jo-ann Stores
Salary Range24k - 43k$33k$32,995
Costco Wholesale
Salary Range26k - 38k$32k$31,995

Frequently Asked Questions about Barnes & Noble

When was Barnes & Noble founded?

Barnes & Noble was founded in 1886.

How many Employees does Barnes & Noble have?

Barnes & Noble has 15,557 employees.

How much money does Barnes & Noble make?

Barnes & Noble generates $3.6B in revenue.

What industry is Barnes & Noble in?

Barnes & Noble is in the retail industry.

What is Barnes & Noble's mission?

Barnes & Noble's mission statement is "To operate the best omni-channel specialty retail business in America, helping both our customers and booksellers reach their aspirations, while being a credit to the communities we serve."

What type of company is Barnes & Noble?

Barnes & Noble is a public company.

Who are Barnes & Noble's competitors?

Barnes & Noble competitors include Gap, Walmart, Costco Wholesale, Foot Locker, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Menards, Stein Mart, Hobby Lobby, Follett, Sports Authority, Harbor Freight Tools, Petco Holdings, Rural King, Michaels Stores, Natural Grocers, Jo-ann Stores, Modell's Sporting Goods, Teavana, A.C. Moore.

Who works at Barnes & Noble?

James Daunt (Chief Executive Officer)

Charles Barnes (Founders)

G. Noble (Founders)

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Barnes & Noble FAQs

Does Barnes & Noble hire felons?

Yes, Barnes & Noble does hire felons. However, they take each candidate on a case-by-case basis. Having a felony does not per se exclude you from employment at Barnes & Noble.

In recent years, there have been efforts over the last few years to increase opportunities for those with a criminal record in the workplace. Background checks are dreaded by those with convictions. However, not every state treats them the same.

For the following states, the background checks only go back seven years:

  • California

  • Colorado*

  • Kansas*

  • Maryland*

  • Massachusetts

  • Montana

  • Nevada

  • New Hampshire*

  • New York*

  • Texas*

  • Washington*

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Does Barnes and Noble drug test?

No, Barnes and Noble does not drug test its employees before or during employment. However, Barnes and Noble, like many companies, considers itself a drug-free workplace.

It may ask employees to complete a form agreeing to a potential drug test, and may subject an employee to a drug test if they are suspected to be under the influence of drugs at work.

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How do you answer, "Why are you interested in working for Barnes and Noble"?

You answer the question, "Why are you interested in working for Barnes and Noble?" by emphasizing your passion for reading and books, as well as any interest and experience you have working in retail. In particular, you should highlight any desire to work in a position that promotes reading and literacy.

Some examples of specific ways to answer the question of why you're interested in working for Barnes and Noble include:

  • You love to read, and would love the opportunity to work somewhere that encourages others to read as much as they can.

  • You want to work in an environment where others are just as enthusiastic about books and reading as you are.

  • The environment at Barnes and Noble is one you thoroughly enjoy and can thrive in.

  • Barnes and Noble is innovating ways to access any book, anywhere, at any time.

  • You want to work on a team where you feel valued, with an opportunity to make an impact on your community and the world around you.

  • It is one of the biggest and best book retailers in the world.

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How do you write a cover letter for a job at Barnes & Noble?

You write a cover letter for a job at Barnes & Noble by highlighting your skills and experience working in e-commerce and your love for books. The old saying, "You only have one chance to make a first impression," is definitely true when meeting someone in person, and it is just as important when you are writing your Barnes & Nobles cover letter.

When writing your greatest novella (aka your Barnes Nobles cover letter), there are a few skills that you should focus on, such as good customer service, current book titles knowledge, old and new authors, as well as planning and organization.

Your cover letter should be one page long and divided into three to four paragraphs. The first paragraph should focus on the position you're applying for. The next paragraphs should highlight what you have to bring to the table. Be sure to include attention-grabbing yet professional information.

Remember, a cover letter is not meant to repeat what is on your resume. Rather, it is a chance to show some insight into your character, sell your expertise, and display your interest (and hopefully passion) for the position and company that you are applying to. The key is to maintain professionalism while showing personality.

For example:

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am very interested in pursuing the [INSERT POSITION/TITLE] vacancy at [INSERT COMPANY NAME]. I have enclosed my resume for your review, and I think you will find my skills and experience to be an ideal match for this position. To summarize, my qualifications are as follows:






I look forward to meeting with the Barnes Nobles team to discuss my qualifications further. I am easily reached by e-mail at and by phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

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How old do you have to be to work at Barnes & Noble?

You have to be 16 years old to work at Barnes & Noble. In some states, you may need working papers from the department of labor if you are under 18. Applicants are encouraged to apply online.

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What benefits does Barnes and Noble offer?

The benefits offered by Barnes and Noble include paid time off, store discounts, and competitive pay. While the exact benefits offered may vary slightly depending on the position, most benefits are offered to both full- and part-time employees.

Some of the benefits Barnes and Noble offers employees include:

  • Competitive pay

  • Paid time off after six months (one to two personal days per year; one or more weeks of paid vacation time per year)

  • Medical, vision, and dental coverage

  • Prescription coverage

  • Healthcare flexible spending account

  • 401(k) retirement plan

  • Disability coverage

  • Life and accident insurance

  • Business travel insurance

  • Merchandise discounts (books, devices, and accessories)

  • Tax-free transit program

  • Tuition reimbursement

  • Additional discounts from select external vendors

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What is the dress code at Barnes and Noble?

The dress code at Barnes and Noble is business professional. Barnes and Noble encourages employees to wear collared shirts or blouses, khaki or dress pants, and close-toed shoes.

The company does not allow T-shirts, jeans, shorts, or open-toed shoes, though, depending on the location and manager, certain jeans and sneakers may be allowed.

There are no specific restrictions on any tattoos, piercings, or hairstyles at Barnes and Noble, as long as they're not offensive or dangerous in any way.

However, as the company leaves the day-to-day enforcement of the dress code to individual managers, some locations may be more restrictive about the tattoos, piercings, or hairstyles of associates.

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What's the hiring process at Barnes & Noble?

The hiring process at Barnes & Noble starts with an application and typically takes about three weeks to complete. For most positions at Barnes & Noble, the hiring process is fairly casual, starting with an application, then one to two interviews, and finally, a job offer.

A candidate looking for a job at Barnes Noble will first fill out an application, either online or in the store. This application will ask generic questions about the candidate's background and work history, as well as availability.

If the candidate fits what the store is looking for, they will be asked to come in for an interview. Barnes Noble job interviews run about 25 to 30 minutes in length and feature a relaxed conversation on skill sets and experience in customer service-oriented job settings.

Popular interview questions for Barnes Noble include:

  • What is your favorite book?

  • What is your favorite literary genre?

  • How would you approach a customer looking for a recommendation?

Positions and corresponding desirable characteristics vary greatly for Barnes Noble jobs. Most entry-level candidates, regardless of department, experience a single job interview to determine employment eligibility.

However, Barnes Noble applicants looking for managerial positions go through as many as three interviews to obtain employment. Managerial interviews may run as long as 45 minutes to an hour. Phone screenings typically begin the hiring process for positions of leadership, followed by in-person, one-on-one interviews.

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Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of Barnes & Noble, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about Barnes & Noble. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at Barnes & Noble. The data on this page is also based on data sources collected from public and open data sources on the Internet and other locations, as well as proprietary data we licensed from other companies. Sources of data may include, but are not limited to, the BLS, company filings, estimates based on those filings, H1B filings, and other public and private datasets. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of this information. None of the information on this page has been provided or approved by Barnes & Noble. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of Barnes & Noble and its employees or that of Zippia.

Barnes & Noble may also be known as or be related to Barnes & Noble, Barnes & Noble Inc, Barnes & Noble, Inc. and North Fork Bank.