Worst Retail Employers According to Employees in Canada

We sum up some of the worse retail employers to work for in Canada according to employees reviewing their own current and former place of work online

We summed up some of the worst retail employers to work for in Canada according to employees reviewing their own current and former place(s) of work online, and here’s what we found – some of the reviews are hilarious. LOL.


With a Glassdoor.com rating of 2.9 stars out of 5 stars Guess fits right in with our list of worst retail employers in Canada. An employee review reads:

“Pressure to sell without commission. Again, no incentives even though there is a high expectation to sell. (You can easily sell over $100,000 worth of merchandise a year for the company and they won’t even buy you lunch- happened to me) Low opportunity for advancement.”

Holt Renfrew

This Canadian luxury giant shockingly makes the list of worst retail employers with a Glassdoor.com rating of 2.9 stars out of 5 stars. An employee review reads:

“Terrible base pay Terrible upper management Unrealistic sale goals Unfair distribution of employees – some are put in high sale areas while others are in very slow and low sale areas making your commission terrible”

American Apparel

Since going bankrupt, American Apparel stores have been looking pretty barren. With a Glassdoor.com rating of 2.9 stars out of 5 stars, it is no wonder this retailer is on its way out. An employee review reads:

“Really strict dress code policies, emails come from head office in LA and apply to all stores (ie. requiring us to leave the door open in -30-degree weather in Montreal), over-hiring and then firing 5 people at the same time.”

Pandora Jewelry

With a Glassdoor.com rating of 2.9 stars out of 5 stars Pandora Jewelry is one of the worst retail employers. Glassdoor.com highlights that the following phrases were each mentioned in 11 different reviews by current/former employees:

“Not a lot of room for growth except to assistant manager or manager” (in 11 reviews) Long hours, unpaid lunches, it would be nice to have a mixed work environment rather than a full team of girls” (in 12 reviews)

“Upper management is all over the place there is a huge disconnect between Headquarters and retails stores” (in 11 reviews)

Forever 21

With a Glassdoor rating of 2.6 stars out of 5 Forever 21 makes our list of one of the worst retail employers. A review by an employee writes:

“Dirt cheap pennies for pay Little hours Favouritism can be ramped so hard work can go unnoticed HR allows a lot of retaliation favouritism The place is constantly an unmanaged unorganized mess that just gives you anxiety as a employee or customer Place is nasty no matter how much u clean Hours are nutts ex-close at nine clean up until midnight Tons and tons of shoplifters that aren’t prosecuted so they run ramped Start out picking clothes up off the floor maintaining a section then maybe cashier- then maybe visual merchandising and you can actually pay bills on your own”

Urban Planet

With a rating of 2.6 stars out of 5 stars on Glassdoor.com men’s and women’s apparel staple, Urban Planet makes our list. One employee review reads:

“Poor management, power hungry, extremely low pay. I worked in the higher volume store and it was just a constant mess. Management never bothered to listen to concerns of the employees nor did they find a solution. It was either leave or be fired.”


With a Glassdoor.com rating of 2.6 stars out of 5 stars Payless is also one of the worst retail employers. An employee review reads:

“A lot of pressure to meet and exceed UPTs Conversion, and Sales Goals Same work every week – running shipment, promo tagging Work is not evenly distributed, there are some associates who are termed as SMILES leaders that do nothing except serve customers while the other associates do all the work UNFAIR DISTRIBUTION OF WORK – Management does not care about any concerns you have”

Addition Elle

Addition Elle is a Canadian clothing store chain that sells plus-size clothing with a Glassdoor.com rating of 2.4 out of 5 stars they make the cut. A review by an employee reads:

“The clothes are becoming so expensive even with the 50% staff discount they are barely affordable on minimum wage. You need to wear Reitman’s banner store clothing (ie Penningtons, Reitmans). I don’t recommend it long term. Other than the discount there are zero perks for non-management employees. I never got the sense the company actually cared about me, and I was a top performer.”


Nygård International is a Canadian clothing brand based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is one of the largest women’s clothing manufacturers and suppliers in the world, with annual sales of over $500 million. Glassdoor.com displays a rating of 1.8 stars out of 5 stars for Nygard, thus making them the worst of the worst on our list. A review by an employee reads:

“Zero work life balance! Chairman is known as a psychotic monster and proves it daily! Company & culture is rampant with verbal abuse, liberal and constant use of profanity, and personal belittlement.

Owner is losing his memory and conflicting directives are a daily norm. Only way to survive in this “culture” is if you don’t come into the owner’s circle of interaction.

People slink away when they see him coming and most won’t even make eye contact with senior managers for fear of being assigned to do something with the owner. Stay away!”

Did we miss any of the worst retail employers? Let us know in the comment section below.

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