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 Feedback Requested: Lawrence Merchandising Services (CRS/Lawrence) (Stravina)
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2014 :  12:42:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff68005

I received a recruiting email via what was NARMS with a Target store mentioned. It clearly stated the job would be part time. When I went to apply, I read some of the fine print most people skip over, I saw a reference to a non-compete clause. It was not included in the paperwork, but was implied as binding.
That made me nervous and I stopped the application process.
IMO, the application process was way to long any way. Parts of it asked similar questions in different ways that the answer was the same.
Now that I read some comments here, I am glad that I stopped when I did. Thank you one and all.



Jeff, maybe LM has changed their application process as of late, however at least back in 2011, they had a very simple online application that took less than 10 minutes to complete. They called me a few months later to do a telephone interview (about 15 - 20 minutes long), but I did not take the position at that time, because it was something like working 45 minutes to 1 hour per week (or once every 2 weeks) and the Target store was about a 30 minute drive from my house. Yet they said that they would call me back if they had another open position in my area. So they did call me back in 2012, with an offer to work 10 to 20 hours per week. I asked a few questions and was hired over the phone. Yet I never had any troubles with their rules, regulations, requirements, etc. I have worked for LM since 2012. I think that they are a great company to work for, and I have never had any pay issues with them. With that being said, the only thing that I DO NOT like about LM nowadays is, on occasion, they will assign you merchandising projects (other than jewelry and sunglasses) in other departments of the store and sometimes at other Target and non-Target stores. Most of the time, I find these other projects very confusing and it takes time to understand as you read the instructions for these extra projects . . . yet I often wonder if I am doing them correctly. Sure I can contact the DM for help and the company does pay for all of the time you spend physically doing the assignment and entering the report online (including reading and understanding the instructions), yet often I find their instructions very frustrating to completely understand, so I would just rather not do any additional projects (to avoid my frustration of these projects). . . yet they do make you aware that you have to do extra projects from time-to-time before they hire you and you have to agree to do these projects before they hire you. I was okay with them when I got hired, as I did not think the written instructions of these projects would be that complicated and confusing (before I got hired, when they told me about them). So whenever I get these extra projects, I just try to do the best I can and work them. Yet in other cases, they let you volunteer to do extra merchandising projects. Personally, I think that they should always let us volunteer for any projects outside of our normal jewelery and sunglasses calls (which is what we are mainly hired for). Since I have been working for LM, they never seem to have any trouble finding LM representatives to complete one-time extra volunteer projects, when a representative lives close to the area where the extra work needs to be done. If the extra work seems to initially to be relatively easy, I do volunteer for extra work from time-to-time, but I just do not like this extra work to be forced on me, without having a choice to turn it down for any reason.

Nick
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April2013
Valued Contributor

USA
174 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2014 :  2:55:46 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
In reply to that "non-compete clause", I was recently told that "To be kept in our system we need to have reps be able to take up to 15-20 hours per week." I get ONE (1) regular job at a TS cleaning the silver jewelry case every 6 weeks. I might get something else maybe once a month at the most. If I didn't have my other work, my bills would not get paid. That clause is kind of a joke.
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2014 :  12:44:07 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
On Sunday (10-19-14), I had planned both my sunglasses and jewelry workload out for this week and then when I looking in NI this afternoon, BAM!!! I have been assigned one of those volunteer / opportunity Excell assignments. UGH!!! I purposely did not volunteer for these opportunities, because I now find these Friday only launch date calls a GIANT pain in the side, due to there not being any room to cram in this new product on my stores existing POG. Then my store POG never matches the POG that they give me to work from, which I have to sit and figure out where to cram the new merchandise, AND then it takes an act of Congress and a blessing from God to get new price labels made for this new product. The GSTLs at my store do not have a clue how to print out price labels . . . and it often takes me at least 15 to 25 minutes before the GSTL can find someone to make and print price labels for this call. Yet one time when I did this service about a year ago, I had a GSTL get kinda mad at me for cramming in even more new product in a VERY, VERY, VERY OVER CROWDED POG and she ask me who could she call at Excell so they could starting taking some of the over stocked products back.

I was curious, was anyone else hit with this Excell call, where it became mandatory for you to do this call this coming Friday (10-24-14), since no other nearby representatives accepted this call while it was in the volunteer / opportunity mode?

Also, since we had to watch that Excell training video on You Tube recently, does that mean that LM is going to start servicing the Excell section of Target in the beginning of the new year, like we were forced to start servicing the sunglasses in January of this year? Thus far, I have not heard anything from my DM about the purpose of watching that Excell video.

Nick
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Val2121
Contributor

Denver, CO
USA
93 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2014 :  12:50:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Nick S, Agree with you
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Darla61
Member

Phoenix, Az
USA
27 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2014 :  1:48:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I work for LMS ,and have a Target for them. I have heard nothing about the Excell job.

Darla H.
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Cathy O
Contributor

Richmond, MI
USA
79 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2014 :  4:22:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I haven't heard anything about the Excell job either but I've done it in the past in Target for Lawrence.

Cathy
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Laura_In_Az
Star Contributor

Tucson, AZ
USA
307 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2014 :  6:48:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I found an excell job on my page for 10/24 also. I don't stress if the tags are not printed while I am there. Eventually, they will be printed. If necessary, I would remove some of the overstock to make room for the new product. I would just put in the white box and label the box as overstock. The first couple of times I did this job, it was a bit overwhelming to me since I don't know the product. Now, I am easy with the job. I move, pull, rearrange, etc and place the new product in. Tell the store they need to make tags and take pictures and done.
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2014 :  10:41:33 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Darla, I have worked for LM at Target for over 2 years, and I have done Excell work for them several times during that time. However in the past 3 months, I have decided it is just not worth my time and aggravation to volunteer (for extra time and pay) to complete those calls. The Excell calls are all of those sports & gaming cards stuff that most of the Target stores have or at least here in the greater Los Angeles area. Until I started working with those Excell cards almost 2 years ago, I had no idea that people still collected and traded those cards anymore . . . and thought that was a dead hobby! LOL!!! When I used to volunteer for these calls, I have worked at several different Target stores and all of my stores had about a 12’ to 20’ wall & gondola section (usually located on the wall opposite all of the check-out lanes) were ALWAYS over stocked and jammed packed with all of these trading cards and gaming stuff AND each store had a 4’ endcap in the toy department that usually requires service when making this one day only new introduction of trading/gaming cards stuff. Yet consider yourself lucky you do not have to do these calls. Out of the almost 2 years that I did these calls, ALL of my stores were a nightmare where there is ALWAYS an over abundance of product where you literally DO NOT have ½ inch to call your own to set something in the POG (for the items you have to put on the shelves). Then again, my store POG NEVER matched the POG they issued to me to add the new product . . .which I always found very maddening to try to squeeze in 1 to 2 boxes of stuff (each box about the size of 15 loaves of bread, if you have 5 loaves of bread in each row). Yet if you go to excellmktg.com, you will see what Excell is all about. Up until that Excell call magically appeared in my work cue the other day, those calls are usually in the Opportunities section of NI . . . yet if someone accepts them in your area between the time you log off and the time you log on in NI again, you never see these opportunity calls. In my case, I had seen them in my opportunity section for about 2 weeks and then they all vanished. Little did I know that my DM made the call at my store mandatory, since I guess no other nearby representative volunteered and took the call, since it must be done on October 24th ONLY. The representative that used to work down the street from me used to take all of those calls in my area, but he quit work for LM earlier this year . . . so now it seems that the other nearby representatives are not taking those calls either.

Laura, thank you for the advice. Do leave that brand new product overstock stuff with the GSTL? How do you find room to put the new stuff on the shelf? I am use to doing POGs where if you are putting new stuff in, you either have to reduce some of your existing multiple facing items or you have to take something out. As far as the peg boards at my stores, they are all crammed with stuff where I can not even put like items on the same peg. Yet it would be nice in those Excell directions where we can remove some of the existing products to make room for the new stuff. Yet at my store, it seems like 90% of the shelf items either has 1 item with 1 facing called out in the POG and there is only a quantity of 2 to 4 items of that same item on the shelf BUT they have a TON of different items on the shelf . . . thus I can not take anything off the shelf, as there are no 2 like items and there are no double or triple faced items. Overall, when I look at just the shelf section at my stores, it looks like mass chaos! The peg board part of the POG is not so bad, since you can only put so much stuff on it . .. yet the hard part is trying to put the new stuff in the right section of the peg board when 90% of the pegs are jammed packed with those cards or those dispenser boxes. UGH!!!

I am still curious to know if we are going to be forced to mandatory do the Excell calls beginning in January 2015.

Nick
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Laura_In_Az
Star Contributor

Tucson, AZ
USA
307 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2014 :  10:57:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Nick:
I guess I am spoiled because my stores are pretty much to POG and not overly stuffed with product. Bottom line is that Excell has no problem with same price product on a peg, even if it is of different lines. So, the 3.99 packs of colored: white, orange, and purple can share a peg. I am also ruthless about combining Pokeman down so that I can get a peg for the new release. Again, as long as the price point is the same, combine. Excell and Target are fine with this. I do try to place the new product where the POG says. However, my stores don't have the number of pegs as the POG shows, so I always improvise.
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2014 :  09:24:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Laura_In_Az

Hi Nick:
I guess I am spoiled because my stores are pretty much to POG and not overly stuffed with product. Bottom line is that Excell has no problem with same price product on a peg, even if it is of different lines. So, the 3.99 packs of colored: white, orange, and purple can share a peg. I am also ruthless about combining Pokeman down so that I can get a peg for the new release. Again, as long as the price point is the same, combine. Excell and Target are fine with this. I do try to place the new product where the POG says. However, my stores don't have the number of pegs as the POG shows, so I always improvise.



Laura, thank you for the additional help. If you ever get bored and need some more work to do, you can ALWAYS come to Los Angeles and do my One Day Only Excell merchandising! LOL!!!

Alas on Friday, it was ANOTHER fiasco! I got 3 boxes of new Excell SKUs. I pulled the POG out of one of the boxes, and NONE of the SKUs it said I could pull out or move were on my store’s POG! So not to stress myself out, I followed some of your advice and put the like items with the same price on the same peg. I crammed at least 1 new SKU and had at least 1 facing of each new SKU in my store’s POG. So I put each new SKU with like items. I took the overstock and gave it to the GSTL and left the store . . . I did not even bother getting new price labels printed, as I did not want to deal with it. I figure let the regular Excell representative deal with it when he/she comes back for the regular service call, as I figure they can get price labels done quicker and easier than I can. But at least I left the store with all of the new SKUs out and neatly placed. Since I did not volunteer for this call, I know that I did not do the best job . . . but that is why I no longer volunteer for these calls . . . as I find them just too frustrating to cram in new product in a very, very overstocked POG AND working with a vendor issued POG that does not match or even come close to matching my store’s POG. UGH!!!

Nick
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Laura_In_Az
Star Contributor

Tucson, AZ
USA
307 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2014 :  8:43:42 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Nick: It sounds like your excell rep is very good on getting out the product. Since I did the new release, my store received 7 !!!boxes of current stock. I don't understand where the rep will place them and am glad I am not the on-going excell rep for this store. Your store seems to have a rep more on the ball than mine and stuffs the shelves. Good for me, not for you. However and again, when I do a new release, I would have NO problem reducing overstock on the set and setting the new product. I mark up the box with what is enclosed (overstock) and report. I am type A and want perfection but Excell is not brain surgery so no one will die if I make a mistake. (LOL) ...although the last new release had a 199.99 price point which then involved LP and spider wraps..
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Big Sue
Star Contributor

USA
785 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2014 :  9:15:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hey Nick! I tried to email you at your email addy listed on Volition and it came back to me as undeliverable. Email me at the addy I have listed here. I have a merch job I need some help on for one day next week that I will pay someone to work with me on. Let me know in an email what your phone number is and I can contact you with the details. It's an easy job. Thanks, Sue
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2014 :  11:06:59 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Big Sue

Hey Nick! I tried to email you at your email addy listed on Volition and it came back to me as undeliverable. Email me at the addy I have listed here. I have a merch job I need some help on for one day next week that I will pay someone to work with me on. Let me know in an email what your phone number is and I can contact you with the details. It's an easy job. Thanks, Sue



Hello Sue, I am not sure what happened where you could not get an email to me. Yet thank you very much for the great opportunity, however I have a pretty full schedule currently. However thank you for thinking of me and for the opportunity. :-)

Nick
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LuptonInVirginia
Contributor

Virginia
USA
97 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2014 :  10:15:36 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've done the Excell jobs in the past and they are a nightmare. They send in WAY too much product and they don't give you enough time to do the job. Of course they say you can call to get extra time but that makes it a little hard to plan your day if you have no idea how long you're going to do this job.

I find the stores often put the product in different places when it comes in and you have to spend time doing a hunt and seek to find it because no one knows where it is. You have to reorganize the product on the wall and unless you're 12 years old it's not a product that is easily familiar. Often times you can have two items that look very much alike but will have a vast price difference making it risky to double up items on the same peg. Everything has to be labeled too so the fact that the items change so much from week to week you have to print a lot of labels meaning you have to have a store that is willing to work with you on getting you a label maker. I didn't always have a GSTL that wanted to go to TSC to get me one.

And there is a strict planogram you have to follow for this product and typically you'll get a lot of items coming in that aren't on the POG.


Mark
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Shel
Star Contributor

MI
USA
474 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2015 :  3:20:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It's been a while since anyone posted about LMS.

I am wondering if the normal start rate for most is $10?

Does Lawrence pay by job or by the minute for most jobs?

Thanks!
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Cathy O
Contributor

Richmond, MI
USA
79 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2015 :  6:05:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It varies but seems to be lately it's by the minute so I don't take anything less than an hour any more, just not worth it and yes it's still $10 an hour around my area.

Cathy
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ChrisS
Contributor

USA
89 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2015 :  12:46:41 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Lawrence stopped paying the one hour minimum on projects earlier this year. After a few time sensitive projects where I drove more than 30 miles round trip and I was paid less than $5, I put in my resignation, but left it open that if they could bonus out the stores I had, I would be happy to help. This offer was never acknowledged. They've been advertising for a rep for that store now for over 2 months.

Sorry, I'm not going to lose money on jobs.

ChrisS

Providing merchandising and related services to Southeastern Indiana.
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April2013
Valued Contributor

USA
174 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2015 :  2:29:16 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
That's the way it is here too. I've seen there advertisements on job boards for awhile now. They never had much work here, maybe a couple hours a month. They blamed me for reporting a job without going to the store (I even had the pictures inside and out)so I said don't call me I'll call you.
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Shel
Star Contributor

MI
USA
474 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2015 :  05:29:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I appreciate the honest feedback. Advantage Sales & Marketing got to me the same way and after not taking jobs for a while they deleted me. It's not worth leaving the driveway for less than an hour job unless I'm already there for another company. Thanks all!
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LuptonInVirginia
Contributor

Virginia
USA
97 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2015 :  10:12:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've just put in my notice to be removed from my Target job although I'll stay on, just in case they change the way they do business. Two years ago I was making approximately $200 a week on that Target and was getting ALL of the work in my city automatically assigned to me. I have been with this company almost 14 years.

Now I barely make $50 a week and I have to do a LOT more to get that. No longer are jobs in my area automatically assigned to me, they go out as "opportunities" to reps within 50 miles of here, which means I'm now competing with, at least, five other reps. I rarely get any work outside of the Target because I'm not quite quick enough to get online to accept the work. Not to mention the amount of MY time I have to spend, running to the opportunity board, all day, every day, since they post jobs at random times.

So after 14 years of working for them I'm now making less money than what I was when I first started.

To top it off, when I've spoken to the home office about this all they do is blow smoke right up my backside. They have some kind of script they read and it makes it sound like LMS is doing something wonderfully great to me.

They do pay for only the time you're in the store so if you are fast and efficient you'll make less money than someone completely incompetent. I was told once they randomly partner with Target to review security footage to make sure you're in the store when you say you're in the store. I'm not sure how true this is but it wouldn't surprise me if it were.

They are also moving towards some kind of check in feature so I'm sure they are trying to devise some way to track our time in stores.

LMS might be ok for someone just starting but for me, someone who has busted my rump for them for 14 years (with barely a raise and NO offer of promotion) it's not worth it.

Mark
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