Pet Valu

100 reviews

Pet Valu Employee Reviews

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Salary/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Job Culture
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
AVOID if possible, unethical company!
Manager (Former Employee), ontario, CanadaFebruary 23, 2015
Pros: great nutritional training
Cons: everything else about the company
Work/Life Balance: if you're a store manager or district manager, there is no balance at all....Pet Valu monopolizes your time. It's not uncommon for managers and DMs to receive calls, emails and texts multiple times on their days off. Additionally, new hires are expected to complete over 40 hours of online training UNPAID and on their own time!

Salary: very low considering the expectations for store staff and managers. Manager's wages are based on store's sales, so if you have the misfortune of landing a low volume store, your wage will reflect (even though that is beyond your control and you're still do the same amount of work as someone managing a high volume store). In franchise stores the owners set the wages and this can either work in the employee’s favor or disadvantage depending on the franchisee, Head Office does not regulate franchise wages.

Job Security/Advancement: as a company, Pet Valu rarely promotes from within, turnover is alarmingly high-even for retail- and as an employee you do not feel valued. It's a very stressful place to work because you never know from one day to the next if you will be fired. It appears great employees are terminated for no reason...often.

Management: some store managers are worried about keeping their jobs while others do a terrible job and are kept on for some bizarre reason. The management styles of store managers vary from store to store, some are more positive (usually newer managers) while others are all doom and gloom. As for district managers, they each have their own agenda and will help store managers if it 'works into – more... their plans' (I've heard that term used countless times). If it's not to the district manager's benefit, they will not help store managers grow with the company and in store instances, will actively prevent managers from moving up.

Training: very outdated methods, lack of in store training. The corporate recruiter has never worked in a store and creates training 'checklists' from her desk at head office. Franchise owners are given a very involved training program but it is up to them to implement the training in their stores and pass the information onto their team and often times they don’t, which leaves staff confused and unclear on the expectations and execution of tasks.

Job Culture: unpleasant, everyone has their own agendas, a lot of gossip. If your Manager or District Manager doesn't want you to move up in the company...you won't. As mentioned previously, it's a stressful place to work because you're always looking over your shoulder and wondering if you're going to be next to get fired. Most stores have small teams and there have been several times when staff has to receive either part, or an entire, truck alone due to being short handed. Head Office provides very little support to stores and managers are pretty much on their own. The mentality at the store level is very much “corporate vs. franchise.” Pet Valu does an excellent job of bending over backwards to accommodate the franchisees’ needs/wants, but at the expense of corporate stores. – less
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Educational environment with focus on customer satisfaction and pet health
Pet Care Specialist (Current Employee), Renfrew, ONJanuary 9, 2015
Pros: friendly atmosphere, small workforce, great customers
Cons: minimum wage, no benefits unless full-time, rarely hire full-time, management hard to contact
I had grown up wanting to work at "the pet store" (Pet Valu) as animals are not only a passion for me but a hobby. So saying I love my job is very much true. I love the close relationships you can nurture with regular customers and the opportunities you get to learn as much as you can about the products you are selling. Pet Valu offers a lot of knowledgeable information on Pet health and nutrition so our customers can be confident in what they are buying.

Being in a small store with less staff has proven beneficial as it provides a more trusting and fun environment but has also proven to be difficult to cover staff when one or more are sick.

The hardest part of my job, oddly enough, has nothing to do with the work I am to do on a daily basis and what is expected of me but the total lack of effort on Pet Valu's part towards their employees. It saddened me to see Pet Valu take a different approach and direction as it seems to be losing focus not only on it's employees but the customers as more pressure is pushed on employees to force customers to buy more. This proves hard when from a small town and most of the customers are regulars. I will have worked with the company 5 years in April 2015 and despite my best efforts and proving (by taking over an managers position for 3 months while keeping the store running smoothly) myself It seems almost impossible to advance within the company any further.

They keep their employees trapped at part-time where wage raises are capped without further hope to gain more, where the work load is more then what you are paid. As I previously stated – more... I have been with the company happily for 5 years April, I am still currently at minimum wage. This does not offer me much choice in having to rethink my future with the Pet Valu company which is very regretful as I love this job.

The most enjoyable part of my job is definitely the customers and their pets. I love getting to know the people who come into the store and making both their pet and them happy. The great learning opportunity Pet Valu offers is great as well. – less
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Awful, awful, awful.
Keyholder (Former Employee), Winnipeg, MBOctober 23, 2014
Pros: animals are fun
Cons: cruel upper management, low pay, long hours
I worked at Pet Valu for over a year and during that time I had never felt so put off by a workplace. (I worked in retail for over four years before being employed by this store, so I'm pretty well versed in how frustrating customer-facing roles can be. Pet Valu went above and beyond this.)

First off, my interview was conducted in March of 2014 and I was not contacted until August of 2014. The manager at the time called me and said my first day was the next day. (I lated found out I would be replacing someone that was about to be fired.)

Second, the district sales manager is, as someone else said, not the nicest person. (This is a huge understatement.) Myself and three of my colleagues send harassment claims about her to Human Resources. (These claims were never addressed, as far as I've heard.)

My store manager was moved to another store after being given THREE DAYS NOTICE. The new manager was constantly cruel to me and threatened my job weekly. He gave me write-ups for made-up reasons and ridiculed me in front of my co-workers and customers.

When I was hired, my position was sales associate. I was going to school at the time and only wished to work 20 hours a week. I ended up doing many other things such as paperwork, scheduling and the occasional order. I was also given 40 hours a week, even after asking to be given less. Throughout this, I only made minimum wage. In fact, when minimum wage in Manitoba went up from $10 to $10.40 an hour, payroll did not notice or apply the change to my paycheck for four months. They also went on to blame me for not telling them about – more... minimum wage increases.

In short, Pet Valu is unappreciative and at times, terribly cruel to their front end associates. The only things I enjoyed about my time there were working with and educating people about animals, and some of the other sales associates I made friends with. Aside from that, this place is nothing but trouble. – less
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Retail done differently
Sales Associate and Cashier (Former Employee), Toronto, ONJune 3, 2014
Pros: meeting a new animal friends
Cons: higher-up management, constant changes of management
A typical day of work consisted of the opening procedure of the store, counting the money, dealing with customers, acting as both the cashier and sales associate, and finally closing the store. That closely summarizes the typical job at Pet-Valu, such as simple and straight-forward, however I would like to add that Pet-Valu is much more than just that. Pet-Valu is a retail job at a much slower pace with the advantage of dealing with the occasional pet that walks in. Mainly, the job consisted of up-selling certain products over others and educating the customer with the best choices.
Advantages consisted of working with sweet and gentle co-workers, as well as having time to relax and have things done at a certain pace. Since Pet-Valu isn't a huge retail store, employees get to meet, interact and work with management on a daily basis and communicate whatever difficulties they may have.
However, I can't say that working at Pet-Valu is perfect either. There is lots to learn while on the job. Training consists of hours of training videos and workbooks to learn the basics of all types of animal nutrition to teach the customers. However without prior knowledge and experience with all types of animals, giving advice to customers regarding certain things can be difficult.
Furthermore, since some locations are franchised and others corporate, there are differences between the two. I have worked in both types, where the franchised owner is on top of everything related to money and as an employee, you learn to be very careful with how you count money. While in corporate, the higher-ups – more... are constantly changing managers around to where they were better 'suited'. So a big disadvantage would be getting used to dealing with different managers and changes in corporate. – less
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Fun to work at
Cashier (Current Employee), Whitby, ONApril 18, 2015
Pros: tons of dogs, really good manager, good hours
Cons: small back room
Working on a day to day bases was amazing there are sometimes where you are busy sometimes where you are slow and sometimes where there are no customers at all, this is a nice balance, it gives you the time to clean the store and put things away but it also doesn't leave you bored. I learned a lot and still learn a lot working in this job, when I first started I had to do about 16 hours of training just to start working and we continue to learn about new things new products and how to help in every day work life. My manager was the best manager i could have ever asked for or wanted. My manager is very understanding, compassionate and sensitive towards his customers and his employees. My co-workers were good I created a bond with them while working with them. the hardest part of the job is when a customer is just out to prove that they know more about a product then you. I have had this happen to me several time just cause you a food on a commercial doesn't mean it is the best food alive for your dog or cat. In these situation it can become very frustrating as I know what the wrong type of food can do to your cat and/or dog. Another part of the job that is hard is when people come into the store and they may not be treating the dog in the best way possible, unfortunately there is nothing that you can do for that dog and have to just try and get the owner to understand that a dog should be treated like one of the family. Now the most ENJOYABLE part of the job was see dogs come into the store and walk out happy and proud. At the pet valu that i work at there is a self serve dog – more... wash, dogs come in all muddy and dirty and walk out nice and clean. Also you get a ton of doggy kisses and doggy love. – less
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Not happy with management
Store Manager (Former Employee), Ottawa, ONAugust 29, 2012
Pros: good pay. nice atmosphere, great product training.
Cons: long hours, short staffed, unpleasent managers.
The higher management does not listen to employee suggestions and puts too much pressure on store managers.
My experience was great except for the fact that my district manager was not very nice, did not give me any praise for my hard work and was always telling me what was best for the store when realistically he was not the one in the store dealing with day to day customers and experiences.
He really made me feel incompetent when I was working my butt off for the company for many years.
Higher management needs to be supervising and training their district managers to be sure they are treating their staff well.
I dreaded speaking to my boss, it was always negative comment after negative comment, sarcasm and no praise.
I had dealt with a few district managers during my employment and 2 of the 3 were not pleasant.

I feel Pet Valu has come a long way after being bought out by a US company. They are doing a good job with revamping stores, opening new stores and focusing on sales.
They should not get so money hungry that they forget about the friendly customer service aspect.
Its all about the customer, greeting them, informing them, asking about their pets..etc.
It should NOT all be about selling them higher priced merchandise and more and more items.
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Great Company to expand personal knowledge, with some limitation for advancement
Sales Associate (Current Employee), London, ONJune 21, 2015
Pros: Great environment, excellent training, well informed and knowledgeable staff, Passion for animals
Cons: management, little opportunity for growth
I have loved working for Pet Valu, and have attained an extensive amount of knowledge about proper pet care and nutrition. This far exceeded my expectations and before I knew it, I was solving health issues for pets that often times hadn't even been solved by the customer's vet. I also learned how to create better customer relationships and sales techniques as they truly encouraged selling with passion. My only setback with Pet Valu is that they are only able to have one full time employee (Who already has 10+ years of experience and they intend to keep her) which doesn't provide any opportunity to grow with the company, as I so wish I could. The other team members there are excellent which provides for a great work environment. This job is overall extremely rewarding as many animals are helped, along with their owners. We also provided many homes for animals currently in local rescues, shelters, and foster homes. I am proud to say Pet Valu has donated an extensive amount of money, time, and pet supplies to these shelters too. As well, using their location as a host for the rescues to have adoption events.
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Hard work, but excellent training
Assistant Manager (Former Employee), Winnipeg, MBJune 24, 2013
Pros: training program
Cons: salary, delivery, inflexible with shifts
**I worked for Pet Valu the corporation, not a franchise. This review is strictly based on working at a corporate location. **

Pet Valu has an excellent training program. I felt very confident with the knowledge they armed me with for dealing with customers. They had exams that every employee was required to take, as well as seminars that were put on by the different pet food companies.

It can be a lot of hard work. It's not just front end work like a lot of people expect. A lot of it is dealing with delivery; hauling bag after bag of 40lb dog food bags (or cat litter!) onto shelves that are well over your head.

Pet Valu, for an 8 hour shift, gives you one unpaid 30 min break...and that's it. They say that you can have 2 15's...but if you try and take one you're in a lot of trouble. You're constantly on call (no matter what your position is), the district manager (at the time) was not a very nice person (trying to be polite here). That's not just my opinion, it was known chain-wide.

Basically it's a good place to work if you don't mind being used a bit. They do teach you a lot about nutrition, but they work you like a dog and pay you very little for it.

Oh, and corporate sold our store to a franchiser even though they promised they wouldn't...so job security is kind of shaky.
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“Wow, If you want to work here, get your head examined!”
Sales Associate, Temporary (1 year contract) (Former Employee), Arnprior, ONMay 22, 2013
Pros: great educational experience. lot of learning with online training-however done on your time!
Cons: see above!
Sales Associate, Temporary (1 year contract)-this current post (May 2013) for store 2130 in Arnprior is an advertisement for my former job.

Worked here for 1 year and a few months...with no idea of when contract was actually up, and no commitment from District Manager!!! If you want to do all the work, with no help from fellow staff..then this is the job for you. Do not expect flexibility with this position. Do not expect to have time off with this position.

Poor Management, disrespectful, rude district manager, no concern for staff or staff needs. Pathetic pay with even more pathetic pay increases. Difficult to get paperwork out of upper management. Expect long hours. Expect no time off. Expect no weekends off. Expect no home or personal life. Expect difficulties if you challenge any of these!

Advice to Senior Management – Get a grip! Pay workers what they deserve, that's more incentive than any! And a pat on the back once in a while wouldn't go amiss either! Lighten up on your staff and allow more flexibility...I took this job on the understanding of occasional weekends, not EVERY weekend.
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Productive and a great learning experience
Store Associate (Former Employee), Greater Sudbury, ONFebruary 20, 2015
Pros: meeting new people
Cons: weekend hours only
A typical day at work involved either opening or closing the store every shift. I provided customer service to a diverse amount of people. We were responsible for feeding and cleaning up after the animals. Every day we stocked the shelves and kept track of inventory. I learned a lot of responsibility while working at Pet Valu because I was given such large responsibilities such as a key to the store and the job of ensuring the tills were balanced and closing up properly. Also because I became in charge of training some of our new employees. My coworkers were also very diverse people who were supportive and helpful. Many of them are still my friends today although we no longer work together. The management could have been more understanding and easier to approach, they were not forgiving when it came to things such as school hours, which is something to me that is very important. The hardest part of the job would have been the heavy lifting and transporting. The most enjoyable part was providing the customer service and helping the ones in need. Also getting to know the regular ones. I really enjoyed interacted with the staff and customers.
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Unprofessional and Unappreciative Upper Management
Store Manager (Former Employee), Scarborough, ONJanuary 4, 2016
Pros: Meeting new people and petting their pets.
Cons: I don't know where to start
I worked hard for these horrible corporate people for 10 long years of my life. How they thanked me was by letting me go. They gave me the same lame excuse that they give to employees that they have no use of anymore which was "We are going in a different direction". I had 6 different District Managers in 5 years, they come and go. Each one of them come in to your store, and boss you around as if they know everything, they tell you to move things around and look down on you, and leave. It happens with every new district manager, and people from the head office. They suck the life out of you, they expect you to put your life on hold for Petvalu. Your hard work is not even appreciated, and you don't even get a raise, you'll be luck to get a ten cent raise. They should run a chain of sweat shops not a chain of pet stores. In spite of all that, I really miss my coworkers and my regular customers whom I become too attached to. A few of them still call me once in a while to chat, and I always hear that a lot of them still ask for me and say "Hi". If you want to keep your sanity stay away from Petvalu, go get a real job where you can get somewhere.
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My experience
Cashier/Sales (Current Employee), Dunnville OntarioAugust 14, 2013
Cons: not enough hours/ poor pay
Working at Pet Valu there are many responsibilities.

A typical day at work for me is making sure the animals have fresh food and water and their cages are presentable for when customers come into the store.

I have learned many new things about different types of animals and nutritional facts about them so I can provide my best knowledge to any questions a customer may have, about what certain foods or medications they are thinking about for their animal.

The management at Pet Valu is great. Being a corporate store we do have a lot of pressure on us to meet certain sale requirements and if we aren't meeting them there is always a lot of help to try new things to find what will work best for all of us employees.

My co- workers are great, we all get along and we all work together to get the job done!

The hardest part of my job is when my manager is away on holidays, I take on most of the responsibilities to make sure the store is kept the way is should be.

The most enjoyable part of my job is getting to interact with new people everyday, helping them, listening to them, and also meeting there pets.
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Can be a fun place to work.
Sales associate (Current Employee), Whitby, ONDecember 28, 2014
For the first five years I worked there it was a great place to work. It was a very friendly work environment and very customer service oriented. I also love the fact that we dealt with several animal rescues adopting out cats, small animals, and hosting adoption days where we showcased dogs for adoption. Now that there is a new store owner some of the new staff are not as customer service oriented and we have started selling animals instead of getting them from rescues. We still have cats for adoption from a rescue, but no longer small animals. Because each Pet Valu store has different owners whether its corporate or franchise, the work environment in each store tends to be very different. At the start of my job I was required to do some training in animal nutrition which has helped me a lot. Even though I have taken an animal nutrition course in school this went beyond that by teaching me the differences in food qualities, as well as the benefits of different types of food. Overall I had a good work experience at Pet Valu but I feel the work environment is changing.
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Disorganized and forever undecided.
Sales Associate/Acting Store Manager (Former Employee), Casselman, ONJanuary 22, 2016
Pros: Animals, Regular Customer & Most Employees
Cons: Everything Else...
These people can't make up their minds, they keep trash people and fire good people with the lame "the company is going in a different direction".

Upper management has no knowledge of actually running a retail store, they don't work in them and won't learn to work in them. You work hard for minimum wage, often alone.

No chance for advancement, but they'll let you run the store for less than the actual store manager makes. That's called taking advantage!!! Don't ask to transfer, you will be treated new, with same pay and barely any hours.

There is NO praise within this company. You are not allowed to be creative and everything is "store standards".

Never complain about a fellow employee, nothing will be done! As well, don't get pregnant ladies, you are still expected to do this physical job with no help... and if you want reduced physical work, you need to provide notes throughout your pregnancy.

You have a better chance at any one of this company's competitors!
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HORRIBLE
Sales Assosicate (Former Employee), Pet Valu Kanata, March Rd.November 5, 2014
Pros: the pets that visit the store
Cons: horrible owner/management
A typical work day was working extremely long, illegal shifts(Scheduled for shifts where you would be alone for longer than 5 hours without a break), facing product, extreme amounts of heavy lifting, no respect from management just complaints.

Owner was useless and did not know anything about his company not even how to open or close the store if needed in an emergency.

Co-workers were decent, The only plus of the job but a few of them were useless and not provided proper training by management. Management just gossiped about everyone and did ZERO managing what so ever. Kind of the worst I've seen in my years.

Also required to come in on days off for "meetings" that lasted an hour but by law in Ontario when you are called into work you should be paid a minimum of three hours even if only there for an hour.

Paychecks were regularly wrong, as well as stat pay for more than one employee.

Literally ZERO desire to ever work for Pet Valu MARCH RD ever again.
HORRIBLE experience.
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Productive environment
Customer Service (Former Employee), Fergus, OnJanuary 14, 2014
Pros: good working environment, friendly people
Cons: not to many customers
I really enjoyed working at Pet Valu, A typical day at work was greeting all the customers as they walk in the door and asking them if they needed any help finding anything, I was also responsible for cleaning the work space (sweep, mop, dust, ect.) I would work alone most days so I was responsible of the whole store, re-stocking shelves, checking out customer, processing returns and helping the customer find what they needed. I learned a lot working at pet valu like how to use the till and money management skills, I also learned about animals and types of food for them. The hardest part of my job was memorizing all the food but after a while it sticks into your brain. My co-workers were very nice and we never had any problems it was a very good working environment. The most enjoyable part of my job was when I helped a customer find something or understand something because when I saw them happy it made me feel like I helped them and so it made me happy.
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The best part-time job I've ever had.
Pet Expert/Customer Service (Current Employee), Kitchener, ONFebruary 24, 2014
Pros: friendly staff, casual dress, incentives
A normal day involves maintaining the store - facing, cleaning, remerchandising, etc.
As pet experts, we provide information to customers about their pets (canines, felines, avian, small animal, and reptile). We answer questions regarding housing, nutrition, play, and even fashion.

The management was outstanding. They took into consideration our suggestions, even letting us take complete lead on some substantial projects. They were approachable, and helpful, and treated you like more than a subordinate.

My co-workers were friendly, and easy to get along with. They were hard workers, and made sure to ask questions when they weren't sure.

I have nothing bad to say about the job at all. It's very enjoyable. The work is not hard, but you need to know a lot about the products, because you want to provide the right answers. Even learning was fun.

Great job.
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Management needs an overhaul!
Pet Expert (Former Employee), Grimsby, OntarioMay 25, 2015
Pros: playing with the rescue cat
Cons: female left working alone for 6+ hours to close
Store manager was unable to keep staff on a consistent schedule with similar hours week to week. Store manager would ask you if you're interested in full-time but never advance you along, just a pass off their daily duties onto you with no incentive, advancement or appreciation. Store manager does not follow the Company's guidelines because they're too busy trying to impress corporate and the District Sales Manager. Store manager does not do training in Grimsby location, pawned off onto other staff then lays blame when something goes wrong or a mistake occurs.

For a staff of 5-6, the amount of rumours and gossip amongst staff, about customers and even the rescues they work with was unreal.
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Fun place to work
Customer Service (Former Employee), Kingston, ONNovember 8, 2015
Pros: Great community, Feel good work, flexible hours
Cons: Full time is rare, no benefits, no room for promotion
The atmosphere at pet valu is great. The workers are friendly and the customer base is ordinarily pleasant. You get to work with cats from the humane society which is great for cat lovers. The amount you can learn in a sort period of time about pet products is crazy. If you have pets at home you can apply the knowledge learned to your own pets health. There is even a paid time frame given to new employees to complete pet video courses provided from the university of california. All of these things are great; however, the stores are normally full for employment. It is hard to not only be hired on full time but, also be promoted with more responsibility and higher pay.
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Fun workplace with regular customers and pets who brighten your day.
Storefront (Former Employee), Etobicoke, ONMarch 22, 2015
Pros: flexiable hours, good co-workers
Cons: poor management and organization
Most enjoyable part of the job was the customers. Both the people and their pets who come into the store become part of you and the good store atmosphere.

Management was very unorganized which resulted in an unorganized store and no personal connection.

Lot of responsibility put onto individual employees, however, I was able to learn a lot from this.

Job included Greeting and assist customers, making recommendations.  ­ Creating and organizing displays,   ­ Placing orders, stocking shelves and keeping track of inventory, and opening or closing store independently.
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Headquarters
Toronto, ON
Industry
Links
Pet Valu website

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