Shinola Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

From Everything.Sucks

Shinola is an American luxury goods retailer based in Detroit, Michigan. It produces watches, bicycles, and leather goods, among other products. Founded in 2011, Shinola takes its name from the defunct Shinola shoe polish company. The company was founded by Tom Kartsotis and is owned and operated by Texas-based investment group Bedrock Brands.

J.H. shared his experience with the retail store and mentioned, "Attempting to order a bicycle from Shinola was a nightmare for me. It started out fine enough: I was excited to find their beautiful bicycles online, and figured the premium price was worth it for ethical reasons.

So, I found a model I liked and placed an order. The Shinola website notified that it was out of stock, and prompted me to join a waiting list. I signed up. A few days later, I reached out to the company and asked their bike division when they expected more of the model to arrive. They informed me that, in fact, no more would be coming. OK. After some friendly email exchanges, Shinola offered to have some more of the models made. They said my bike would be available in a month. Despite the online ordering issues, I thought this was quite nice and waited for an email invitation to place my order.

Some time passed, and I received a message notifying me that the bike had arrived. I went to order it only to find it still listed as out of stuck. Hmm. I reached out to Shinola again, only to be told it wasn't available, and that they'd contact me when it was.

More time passes, and by now it's been over a month. I contact Shinola's bike division again, and I'm told there has been an unusual delay, and that the bike parts should arrive and be assembled soon. By now I'm finding this process to be time consuming, confused, and generally difficult, but my patience remains, because I'm still looking forward to that shiny new bike.

More time passes. Eventually I receive a message that my bike is finally--truly--available to order. I place my order and wait. A week passes. No notifications. I call customer service, and they're confused. I speak to a supervisor, they're also confused about what's happening with the bike, telling me that it has "shipped" and that someone will contact me, evidently from a freight company. They'll have to check into it tomorrow.

After some phone and email tag over a few days, I'm finally told that I'll get contacted by the freight company without any specific date or time. After reflecting on the time and effort I've invested in this process, I tell them that unless they can ensure that the bike will arrive in a day, to cancel my order. They ignore this comment in their response, instead telling me the mysterious freight company will be in contact. By now my excitement has disappeared and my patience has left me. I still have no bike, and so I cancel my order, and they refund it in full.

Throughout this process, no one bothers to contact me first, offer me any kind of discount or whatever for my wasted time, and at no point do I feel like my business or time is at all valued. Considering how well this interaction seemed to begin, I found the very poor chairmen service exceptionally strange, and can only assume there are some significant problems behind the scenes.

While this may be small potatoes for a company like Shinola, I have nothing to show for my time. I'm not getting it back. If you decide to order a bike through this company, may your experience be better than my own."

Reviews

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Former Employee - Store Employee says

"No confidentiality in HR. Promotions are based heavily on feeding into the toxic environment/machine of the White Male role. No room for BIPOC in management. Plenty of Gaslighting and pushing out of Women as well. Lots of Store/Area Manager disappearing for hours midday each day. Generous helping of creating conflict in order to come in and resolve for the 'betterment' of the team. Huge White Savior complex with practices active regularly."

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"Very slow work environment and only fair training"

Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager says

"White male driven company, non-diverse, and everyone who is in a position above you is a bully. They just sit around on their phones and make you do their job while they get paid twice what you’re making. They will tell you if they don’t like your outfit, and make you do things like go inventory the stock room so nobody sees you. There was a transition period where I was promised a different higher position because branches were closing and people were leaving and kept following up and was finally told I was fired. My superior was always threatened by me and was overheard bad mouthing me to corporate. Corporate still will not provide any documentation or reason for them “letting me go”. I was told to “just deal with it” by HR. There is so many more companies in Detroit and the surrounding areas that would appreciate you much more than Shinola ever would."

Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate says

"Management took advantage of not doing things. They would be in the back on their cellphone and would wonder why we didn't make goal"

Current Employee - Corporate Employee says

"From an outsiders view, people believe Shinola to be an awesome place to work, until you get into corporate and see how unorganized and messed up this place really is. Management within most departments of corporate are TERRIBLE. You sit there an wonder if these individuals are even qualified and how they got hired. Directors and upper management are snotty and believe they are too good for most. Everyone around is trying to fit in to the "hipster" look, which is quite sad. The company is not performing well anymore due to consumers being bored of the products and the story. They are struggling to keep this brand alive, as most outsiders do not see. Store managers and employees from the retail standpoint see management from corporate as a joke because they are so unorganized. Also, metal watch bands come into stores with "Made In China" on them, which is opposite of what this brand tries to stand for. Miscommunication between individuals is an everyday issue and nobody really knows there place/role because there is so much cross over. Management needs to be wiped clean in many departments within corporate. I'v never seen a more terrible, unorganized and unknowledgeable set of people within one company."

Former Employee - Sales Associate says

"I worked at shinola for less than 2 months at which point I decided to leave. This decision was made due to a number of factors such as lack of communication between management. I feel that I was descriminated against because of my weight and height and recall being told that I was “intimidating” and “not a good fit for this position” by several of the managers. Working at shinola reminded me of being in high school with the amount of gossip and childish behavior demonstrated by a majority of the staff. I also had a hard time selling $20 quartz watches for $300+ However I was by no means bad at it and would average more than $3000 in sales every shift. They really try to push teamwork however this job was anything but. On several occasions certain employees would ring up high dollar sales for me but give themselves credit for it which did not sit well with me. Would not recommend this job to my worst enemy."

Former Employee - Key Holder says

"Zero development or transparency with management. Would not recommend if you are established and still looking to further your career because that is not a priority."

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"Low salaries, no bonuses, no training, horrible executive management, no room for growth."

says

"This company really needs to start hiring more effective, smart, and experienced employees. Right now the company is struggling to with creating structures and it’s effecting the business. Management lacks awareness of what’s really going on. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done in order to save this company. I would not recommend working here even though there are some cool people."

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"Upper management was awful, Human Resources was a joke, raises were a slap in the face, manager didn't take anything seriously."

Inventory Supervisor (Former Employee) says

"Horrific place to work. Don’t be fooled stay far away from this place. Management sucks!!! Low wages and awful hours. Doesn’t help when some individuals don’t want you to succeed.No ProsMany cons"

Corporate (Current Employee) says

"From an outsiders view, people believe Shinola to be an awesome place to work, until you get into corporate and see how unorganized and messed up this place really is. Management within most departments of corporate are TERRIBLE. You sit there an wonder if these individuals are even qualified and how they got hired. Directors and upper management are snotty and believe they are too good for most. Everyone around is trying to fit in to the "hipster" look, which is quite sad. The company is not performing well anymore due to consumers being bored of the products and the story. They are struggling to keep this brand alive, as most outsiders do not see. Store managers and employees from the retail standpoint see management from corporate as a joke because they are so unorganized. Also, metal watch bands come into stores with "Made In China" on them, which is opposite of what this brand tries to stand for. Miscommunication between individuals is an everyday issue and nobody really knows there place/role because there is so much cross over. Management needs to be wiped clean in many departments within corporate. I'v never seen a more terrible, unorganized and unknowledgeable set of people within one company.noneeverything"

Assembly Line Production Worker (Former Employee) says

"Shinola sucks.. bad management they care more about their image than there worker's and don't pay enough for the BS they put you through ..You get treated like school kids you have to ask for permission to use the bathroom and your not allowed to talk and their point system sucks they will fire you and repalce you at a drop of a dime..Not a company you can grow with.nonenone"

Wholesale Sales Ambassador (Former Employee) says

"Shinola is a horrible company to work for. They portray themselves to look like a nice company to work with but, thats far from the truth. Management is very disorganized,dishonest and unprofessional all of them lack skills to be a leader. There is no open door policy or growth yet expectations are so high for little pay. Company still very young but has many bad issues their turnover in employees is huge.They already went under investigation from the FTC too because of complaints on their marketing and misleading consumers on where the actual watch is made just for financial gain. I wouldn't recommend anyone work from them. Shinola doesn't value or appreciate their employees!!!!The one real and only cool co-worker I worked with. You know who you are!Management is really unexperienced and really horrible so is the pay, environment is not welcoming, no potential for growth and company is dishonest"

n/a (Former Employee) says

"I've interviewed on a couple different occasions with this company for positions I was well qualified for, as well as an acquaintance of mine, only to get the rejection form letter email. It seems they only hire young, hipster types that fit their highly cultivated brand image versus qualified, seasoned professionals with experience that can bring something to the table. Their marketing and news/magazine articles about hiring ex-auto factory workers and re-training them in watch-making makes for a feel good story and image! But past that, they only want young 20 something's as the face of their brand. Lest they forget it's the seasoned professional types who can actually afford to purchase their products. I guess all my retail experience, degree in fashion and being raised in Detroit didn't make me hip or Detroit enough to work for their under 30 company. It's a shame they value image over experience."

Case-Back Closer (Former Employee) says

"Typical work day started with confusion. I learned that upper management didn't care about those who worked for them. Management was unsatisfactory! My co-workers were the only good thing about the company. Nothing was hard. Nothing was enjoyable.NothingEverything"

Former employee (Former Employee) says

"Shinola doesn't care about their employees I would not recommend anyone work for them ! They put on a very good face but they are very unorganized in management"

Worker (Current Employee) says

"I was so excited to be hired by Shinola- after all it was the great Shinola. Its a Dog eat dog environment, people talk behind each others backs and backstab anyone they can to get a head. Gossip and rumors There is a revolving door of people and the wages are lower than other companies in the area. It is not what you know, its who you know and the more you suck up the better you will do. There are favorites and it does not matter if your a great employee if you are not in the "cool kids" club you are invisible. . Working for the company is not at all like the fun, cool, hip image that is portrayed HUGE Disappointmentdiscountsbelow average pay"

Financial Planning & Analysis Manager (Former Employee) says

"There is a major restructuring as the company overproduced and overspent with bad leadership previously. They are in the process of trying to operate on a lesser base so some people are performing work of 2 individuals because they do not realize it."

Artisan (Former Employee) says

"Shinola hired 4 young engineers in leather they knew nothing about watch straps.got moved one up to superviser whole department went down.23 year old unqualified folks.they take anybody word over employee leather department is the worse .too many bosses turn around horrible i think they only care about numbers not quality.the line leads are not experienced enough.The owner cares about the employess takes good care of themPoint system is jacked up. Pay is not enough for the work"

Key Holder (Former Employee) says

"The job was fine at first, but now its ok to be late because someone's at the gym? The culture and management is a joke and there's 0 accountability. The only redeeming quality is the pay is the best you'll find in retail."

Key holder (Former Employee) says

"Management is very disorganized, high expectations out of you but that management don't really meet themselves. Coworkers were great but management isn't necessarily leadership.Coworkers could be great to work with.Management doesn't have the correct training needed to be a leader. No open door policy."

Anonymous (Former Employee) says

"Shinola is a company without competent leadership. The majority of the workforce is composed of great people who genuinely believe in the company and the products, and there are a lot of excellent people at Shinola, even though they are unappreciated. To get ahead you have to be well-connected, fashionable, or a sycophant. The benefits and salary of corporate positions are decent for the Detroit area, but the pay for hourly positions is insulting, especially considering how much Shinola exploits the images and skills of their craftspeople in their marketing. It's nice to feel like a company appreciates and celebrates your expertise, but then you find out you got a 1% raise. Many of the craftspeople have to work second jobs, which is embarrassing and insulting. They do not foster excellence from within. They would rather import high-priced leaders from faraway places instead of mentoring or training the talent they already have. Money is misspent in all the wrong places. The company is led by strong egos, a cool kids club, and passion projects. The history of failed projects and product lines is staggering. There is a long list of failures that enormous resources were poured into only to be dropped like hot potatoes months later. Anyone remember Willy's Detroit, Shinola Pet, Shinola Jewelry, Shinola Audio (which was supposed to "drive" the company forward)? These endless failures sap the energy and willpower of dedicated and loyal employees, because what's the point? All the passion, money, resources, and energy that were devoted to any given project are almost certainlyCorporate salaries are good, product discounts are nice, and most people who work there are excellentTerrible, fundamentally flawed leadership"

Assembly Line Worker (Former Employee) says

"I worked a day and a half at shinola, I made it through day one of training and I was told I had a good eye for imperfection on the product. The work environment is very quiet and everyone works at there own station, once you know your job well your able to listen to music with headphones. They tried to make the work environment comfortable when it comes to chairs, lighting and anything you need to do the job. The lunch rooms are very clean and well organize and they even provide a clean refrigerator to store your food. So I didnt care for management I was told by day to I seemed less interested and this job maynt be for me. This to me was crazy because your not able to talk and I really dont know what a interest person behaves like and I worked for general motors and that environment is more fast pace and could cost someone there life. Than you have to listen to all the back history of Shinola and how Willie from detroit knows everything and blah blah. For the most part there is alot of unnecessary things that comes with having and keeping the job. So if invited to stay be prepared foe the nonsense with management.Lunch room, clean space, reasonable working hoursManagement, the job is mentally draining"

Artisan (Former Employee) says

"Alot of cool people work there and work isn't too strenuous but management is terrible. Gentrification at it's finest. management is bias and racist. Simply put.Decent starting paymanagement is bias and racist"

Seasonal Sales Associate (Former Employee) says

"The pace of the job was not too fast or slow Consistently learning more about the company and the products Great team work opportunities Consistently was given the opportunity to go above and beyond in serving customersWonderful break timesHours were very finicky"

Watch & Leather Representative (Former Employee) says

"working at Shinola was nice. Everyone came in thinking the space was an art gallery. At that time we went through a change of managers so certain employees were being trained for a permanent position but the new manager kicked them out. Very odd, not appropriate or professional."

Marketing Coordinator (Current Employee) says

"As the company grows, there have been many growing pains. It currently still has a start-up atmosphere. If you find your niche in the company there is great opportunity."

Assembly Technician (Former Employee) says

"While the company does provide us with a beautiful work space, great lunch room with ping pong tables and shuffleboards, and even gas cards for low income employees, I can't really say working there is great. The pay is terrible. You're starting at 12 an hour, and if you manage to make it beyond the 90 day training period you're only brought up to 13 an hour. This is to assemble, sew, stitch, or build a variety of products that sell for literally thousands of dollars. You're also treated like a prisoner. You can't talk, you have to ask for permission to use the bathroom and people are fired for minor infractions at the drop of a hat. I also have to complain about the management. They're more concerned with marketing and the company image than things like inventory and building maintenance. I've never worked with a company so disorganized and mismanaged.nice work environment, great co-workersvery low pay, terrible management, high turnaround"

Quality Technician (Current Employee) says

"I Complete and control inventory audits, management is good,work place is fair, hardest part of my job would be changing of inventory process from time to time, the most enjoyable part of my job are company employee perks and holiday season and the people i work with we are like family.40 min lunch break and town hall meetingsno paid sick days"

Lorenzo says

"At Shinola they are masters at marketing. They pride themselves on their Detroit based manufacturing. I hope the quality of their leather goods turns out to be as good as their marketing because they won’t divulge any information on the materials used in the manufacturing of their leather goods. They use worthless terms to describe their leather goods. Words like luxe, premium or navigator leather. Never really divulging any information regarding their true quality. When companies are this secretive more often then not they are attempting to hide something. Twice I have submitted a review on a leather dopp kit I recently purchased which they have failed to publish on their website. I doubt whether the quality of the materials used justifies their prices. The company has been caught misleading customers in the past when their slogan “Where American is made” was debunked and the company was forced to stop using it.
I’ll just have to see how my “luxe” grain leather zip travel kit fairs over time. But their lack of transparency on divulging basic information to consumers makes me suspect that it’s all smoke and mirrors."

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