Pottery Barn

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Pottery Barn Reviews

Updated August 14, 2014
Updated August 14, 2014
215 Reviews

2.7
215 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Pottery Barn President Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
90 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount on some nice merchandise in all WS brands, even catalog purchases (in 21 reviews)

  • The environment is super nice, product is easy to stand behind & the 40% employee discount is awesome (in 20 reviews)


Cons
  • low pay, creates competition even when pay is not on commission (in 16 reviews)

  • Store Managers are treated with such disrespect by upper Management (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

27 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Not "people first"! It's more like, "Corporate Executives first"!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Discount, employees and beautiful environment!

    Cons

    Pathetic management, negative work environment because hours are constantly cut due to lack of payroll. Managers spend too much time on conference calls and not enough time with the overall operation of the sales floor and stockroom! Managers preach having a "customer first" attitude but only when there is payroll available...when there is no payroll, do what you can! Often time the work schedule is not posted until 1 or 2 days before it takes affect making it very difficult for planning.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advise would be to "wake up" and see things as they really are...instead of the "dog and pony show" visits around the holidays, do surprise visits so that you truly see how awful your stores are run. It is impossible for me to wrap my brain around spending 2 weeks worth of payroll bringing designers in from around the country to tear the store apart and unbox brand new items only to mark down the current items on the floor to get rid of them...hurting the stores margin and then starving the store of payroll at the busiest time of year!!! This does not even account for the employees that they bring in from other stores to help get ready. If payroll were consistently allowed, instead of running below bare bones, stores wouldn't need to go through all of this when a visit occurs, the stores should be this clean and organized all of the time, however, this is impossible in todays PB, no payroll means daily tasks cannot even be completed...stock rooms sit full of unprocessed inventory, many, many sales are missed because merchandise cannot be found, sales floors are filthy and not enough pride in the company by employees anymore!! This is not customer first, this is stoke my ego executives first. You have no idea how this hurts the stores moral, the stores image to customers who cannot get help because payroll has been cut. I witnessed a minimum of 5 guests in one day last Christmas, walk out of the store in disgust because they could not get anyone to help them and this is a period of 3 minutes while I walked from the back room to the front door while on my lunch. I was embarrassed! There were 4 employees on the entire sales floor, 2 pm, 2 weeks before Christmas...seriously?!?! Corp executives need to know that these visits are a bummer for the stores, they are not an "honor" like they used to be!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    It has become a very unprincipled environment. It's "profit first" not people first.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - General Manager
    Current Employee - General Manager

    Pros

    Co-workers are amazing. Everybody in the store is phenomenal. The quality of sales associates willing to be on the team is the best in the business.

    Cons

    It is embarrassing to explain our lack of world class service. We lose customer's design orders, put them on extended back order, take their money and the service stops! It's scary to call customers who are angry and hostile about our incompetence. The associates think management is insane when we pile on expectations then cut their hours. It is abusive to ask 2 associates to empty 500 box trucks. As a manager I am constantly appalled by how I am forced to treat my dedicated staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You can not afford your own expectations, make a choice, either pay for expectations or lower them. Reduce the workload, floorsets, painting, markdowns etc if your aren't willing to invest the money to complete the task. You alone are preventing us from offering the service you preach. We give away the store after customers complain, how about doing it right the first place?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Run for your Life!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager

    Pros

    Great teams, great stores, great product.

    Cons

    Unrealistic goals. No payroll to get the job done. No matter what success you have you are told to double it. Never good enough. Exempt Managers are forced to work 6/7 day weeks, in order to make payroll. Culture filled with managers who are made to feel insecure and fear for their lively hood. You are never really given a chance to sell with all the emails, visual memo's, projects, floor sets (OMG the useless props they make you build). And you have to use your own vehicle, load it up with merchandise and drive to your customers house! Such wear and tear while corporate gets rich using our vehicles. Store Managers are treated with such disrespect by upper Management. Corporate does not stand behind their policy and procedures, return policy. On a store level you never know if it's ok to say no to a customer, since Customer will only turn and call corporate and in turn corporate will make you break the policy anyway! Work-life balance does not exist.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend some time working in a store and see the unrealistic expectations you have set for the stores. If a manager does not work out treat them with dignity and with respect. No need to belittle them or make them feel less then who they are. A human being! Stop cutting payroll! Hard working dedicated associates have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Follow your policy's and procedures.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Six day work week.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - General Manager  in  South Florida, FL
    Current Employee - General Manager in South Florida, FL

    Pros

    Beautiful product and stores. Great associates.

    Cons

    It has been been "strongly suggested" that Managers work six days a week to meet district payroll goals. Work life balance is non exsistent. Managers are not inspired or appreciated for their hard work that They and associates do. Payroll does not meet the demands of workload.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Payroll needs to be realistic to meet the expectations of the work load. managers should not have to work six days a week to make payroll goal. Corporate field should listen to their managers. We are in the trenches everyday. Support our decisions. Inspire and lead. Don't belittle and degrade.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Started off promising...downhill from there.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate

    Pros

    used to be the discount but now that has been cut back.

    Cons

    - pay is VERY low. I worked retail before working for Pottery Barn and know it's not great but it's shameful what they pay, even after a great sales year you still only get less than 50c raise... if you are lucky. The discount does not make up for the low pay, the quality has gone downhill while the prices goes up and who can afford it on what we are paid?
    - schedules are always being cut, customers walk out because you have one person trying to look after 2 whole sections of the store and they are checking out guests constantly so there is no one to help those who need help picking products or making design studio orders. It's getting worse and worse. Then there are the phones - who was the genius who thought it was best to ignore customers in front of you (and their is usually a line) to answer a phone call first???
    - prices of products keep being increased, customers notice and stop buying, staff are cut...round and round it goes.
    - customers ask for unreasonable things (that we are told we are not allowed to do) then they jump online or call corporate and we get a spanking from corporate for it!
    - Stop pestering sales staff to get a customer to sign up for a credit card every 10 mins. We are loosing customers as it is and you want more credit cards?? Customers hate it! I've had customers ask me outright is business that bad?
    No training for new staff - already overwhelmed staff are having to train staff on the fly and new staff are lucky to get a few hours training before they are left to fend for themselves!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop whatever you are doing...can't you see the ship is sinking?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Low low wages

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Design Specialist
    Current Employee - Design Specialist

    Pros

    Attractive surroundings to work in.
    Nice co workers.
    Good employee discount IF you make enough income elsewhere to afford Pottery Barn prices which are still high even with the discount.

    Cons

    Low, low, low wages. (New hires at In & Out Burgers make more per hour!) Another one of those companies that has no real interest in their retail employees making a decent wage and only offers slightly above minimum wage and few full time positions so can escape paying benefits. PB offers free design services but pays their design specialists who provide those skills less than a tenth of what those design services cost in the marketplace. Clueless, greedy, selfish decision makers at corporate HQ don't care and will only raise wages when forced to by upcoming minimum wage increase laws. Pathetic attitude.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay a decent wage.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Management by abuse and umiliation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager - HQ
    Former Employee - Manager - HQ

    Pros

    Discount. A few decent colleagues.
    After working here everything will feel like heaven

    Cons

    Mean spirited Prima Donnas in upper Management foster a culture of rudeness and disrespect.
    no work life balance, archaic systems, nepotistic, overworked, unrecognized, only these who can master the art of flattery will succeed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hopeless

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Job for a bored housewife

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Design Studio Specialist  in  Newark, DE
    Current Employee - Design Studio Specialist in Newark, DE

    Pros

    You are offered an amazing discount that you may never possibly used because you're not paid enough to do so.

    Cons

    Low wages, no hours, no benefits, loads of responsibilities that you can not possibly finish in the 8 hours you're scheduled a week resulting in angry customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your staff and go the extra mile otherwise there will always be a high turn over

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    blah

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Seattle, WA

    Pros

    discount was great. we got 40% off items in the store.

    Cons

    not enough training. management non-exisitant

    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    This was not a good experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great product and I loved my team

    Cons

    Too many hours with no payroll and District Managers that knew nothing about the product, business or how it was to run a store.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come to the realization that you need to work with your people and not be a person who just sits behind the computer and dictates.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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