Pottery Barn Reviews

Updated June 15, 2015
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Pottery Barn President Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
33 Ratings

Pros
  • Great discount even though now it has changed (another thing taken away from the associates so that may be really a "Con" (in 25 reviews)

  • Employee Discount is good if you want to refurnish your home (in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • Store Managers are treated with such disrespect by upper Management (in 20 reviews)

  • They expected a lot for low pay (in 19 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

52 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (15)

    Keep Your Expectations Low

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

    I worked at Pottery Barn full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great employee discount shared across the entire portfolio of WSI brands. Lots of opportunity to work with a good to better clientele. And, more often than not, you will work with a number of smart, intelligent people in the stores that are there to enjoy the discount and work a second job with people they like. It's a rare find in the retail industry.

    Cons

    Corporate management has a very simple perspective: we want everything, but we won't give you the payroll to achieve our vision. The workload is always growing on the management teams, and the unrealistic expectations are laughable. Sadly, I left after realizing that my DM viewed me only through the lens of my current responsibilities (I was working well below my actual skill set) and I would never realize the opportunity to grow. Furthermore, when the company sets forth edicts that are declarative statements that have no factual basis or means to achieve them, well, it's easy to lose motivation as a manager. How can you go in day after day and coach a team when you feel like you have a gun to your head? I can't in good faith say the company has a "People First" culture any longer. It's numbers first, people a distant second.

    Advice to Management

    With all due respect, instead of hiring a SVP at Pottery Barn whose sole purpose seemed to be sending out essays on a weekly basis that were nothing more than accumulated buzz phrases from recycled Successories posters, I wish you would have taken that position's created salary and done a company survey to ask the stores what can be done better to create a stronger, more vibrant, more productive WSI. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they don't want to hear that. The company culture is very monolithic.


  2. Helpful (14)

    narcissistic corporate leadership

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

    I have been working at Pottery Barn full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    On A Store level, Management and associates are so dedicated and hard workers. Even though the Corporate demands on both the staff and customers is embarrassing to say the least, We ask our customers to open a credit card, give us your zip code, your email and now take this survey! Appalling how corporate takes and never gives back. Loyal teams that do not have loyal corporate partnerships to support them.

    Cons

    Narcissistic Corporate leader who's message is out of touch and not realistic. Alot of talk about being genuine but nothing genuine about this individual. brags about her husband working for fortune 100 company. A lot of jargon about nothing, not rellevent to the business. corporate takes zero responsibility for anything. in adequate computer systems. you are judged by your volume and volume only. gone are the days of positive comps, now if your not double or triple digit comp your a zero. Ridiculous amount of paper work and emails. better have a WOW moment every hour and every day. preachy, sermon like "Corner" sent weekly That leaves you tired and emotionally drained. We miss Howard. lack of genuine concern from corporate towards General Managers. Corporate females who try to out do each other both in clothing and accessories and snub their nose at sales associates and store managers! Shocking

    Advice to Management

    Without the teams in the field, in the stores, Corporate would have nothing! We are the heart and soul of this company. We lost Howard, and Chuck is never heard from. in their place are cold calculating " Best Year ever" VP's who blame poor quality merchandise, manufacturing delays and a horrible summer assortment on the General Managers and their teams. corporate states " expect the best be the best"! We wish that motto was true of the quality and manufacturing of our products. Corporate needs to treat the store teams as valued members of this company. Ease up on the ridiculous conference calls, childish forms and unnecessary emails. We would like to focus on the customer again, let us do just that. Don't expect perfection with zero payroll!


  3. Helpful (8)

    Sales Associate

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

    I have been working at Pottery Barn

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    After 3 years got a 15 cent raise. Got a larger
    raise than that 30 years ago........The 40 % discount on merchandise is nice. Love the products and work with some great people.

    Cons

    They took away the 40% off of sale items. They need to have training for furniture sales. Never have had a safety meeting. Computers are so old. Customers are looking items up on their cell phones while they wait for our computers to boot up.Customers get frustrated waiting for an estimate.

    Advice to Management

    You have some pretty amazing over qualified employees right under your nose.Pay them a fair wage.. They all want to do a great job and give great customer service. Pretty hard to do when you don't feel appreciated. We get it sell credit cards and get emails, if you listen we are asking... people don't want to give their emails...the say they are in the system... if the system was fixed we wouldn't have to keep asking.....these are great customers who visit 4 x a week. Yes they are in the system somewhere....


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  5. Helpful (10)

    Do not work here!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Albuquerque, NM
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Albuquerque, NM

    I worked at Pottery Barn full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    FANTASTIC merchandise, amazing customers, and a great employee discount! The beautiful product and the customers are really the only positive aspects of this job.

    Cons

    The training here is an absolute joke, corporate leaders and district managers have these unrealistic, out of touch expectations of the GMs , therefore they are lowered down the chain of command. You are treated poorly by upper leaders and what's more, they do not care about you as a person. I was being harassed about my schedule a week after my wife gave birth to my first child, I could not enjoy the moment because they wanted to know when I was going to go back to work. My pay got messed up so many times and it was an arduous process to get it fixed. This company is so outdated as far as processes and technology that it makes rectifying situations like pay absolutely impossible. I could go on and on, from the people they allow to work in their stores to the fact that this company's PEOPLE FIRST mentality is a total and complete joke. It's money first, it's low pay for associates in the store and huge paychecks for those on the corporate level. They want you to drive business but don't invest the payroll to help you succeed, they hire incompetent people that make bad decisions and once your hired, regardless of how bad they are, you are protected. Going to Pottery Barn was the absolute worst decision I've made. The year I spent here was the worst experience of my career particularly because of the store I worked in. It's just bad, upsettingly horrible. I was there a year by some sort of false hope that things would get better and they did not. I was worked like a horse and treated like dirt.

    Advice to Management

    Change your mentality. People first is no longer true, you care about money and that's it. Empower your employees, do not make them feel like they are out of line because they have opinions. LISTEN!!!


  6. Helpful (9)

    Not Fair

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

    I have been working at Pottery Barn full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Very few, if any. You meet some people that turn into friends and at least the store I work at the Management is friendly.

    Cons

    They will bleed you dry. They expect way too much for the amount they pay you. You get a 20 cent raise once a year. That is it. The entire company is broken all the way up through management, district and regional management. No one is held accountable, there is zero communication and zero employee appreciation or compassion. Not to mention sales have been steadily decreasing for a few years now. My advice is to stay away, not sure how much longer they will last.


  7. Helpful (13)

    Associate Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Manager in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Associate Manager in Charleston, SC

    I have been working at Pottery Barn full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Most of the people you work with are amazingly good people. They love what they do and really work as a team. 40%discount is nice too.

    Cons

    Absolutely the worst when it comes to training. They say there will be webinars for training, then don't schedule enough people so you can step off and take them. There is never enough payroll and it's being cut smaller every day. Mon-thurs we are running only on manager coverage, we can't even schedule associates till the weekend!

    A company who doesn't invest in the training of their employees are only destroying themselves from the inside out.

    I had a horrible experience as an associate manager who was pushed out of position by a transfered employee who was relocated to my area. Top sales numbers, never had a customer complaint, employee praises, etc. Everything was moving great, except the lack of training only to be told, next time. But once the transfer stared. All of a sudden I'm not a good fit, I need to think about stepping diwn, etc. Where is the people first atmosphere and belief? Where is Howard's rules? They don't exist anymore. The company only cares about the bottom line. Cheaper to keep a mediocre employee than to train proven successful leader to the wsi way.

    Advice to Management

    Take the time to invest in your employees with proper training. You are loosing top talent because you are too busy pushing credit cards and solicitation emails than customer service or training. Remember your loss will be another's gain. And at the rate you are loosing and pushing out top talent, you're headed for a one way doward spiral. Wake up, pottery barn can have so much more potential, but all you care about is 80%email, and 20% acquisition in new cards. Shallow WSI!


  8. Helpful (10)

    Sales/Cash Wrap/ Visual/Houskeeping/First Point of Guest Contact

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Casual Sales Associate in Memphis, TN
    Current Employee - Casual Sales Associate in Memphis, TN

    I have been working at Pottery Barn (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I have worked of Pottery Barn Outlet for 6years. The only pro is the discount, my fabulous GM & amazing manager, friendly staff.

    Cons

    6 year devotion to company and my pay rate is $9.00 an hour. Corporate is too top-heavy too much bureaucracy too much micromanagement. No matter how devoted you are to the company no matter how much you give up of your personal life to make sure the store is perfect and that the guest are getting above & beyond fabulous service you will never be compensated monetarily.

    Advice to Management

    Corporate is too top-heavy. Laura and Vicky need to put away their Christian Louboution shoes and do some actual work. Compensate your employees even at outlet level. The Outlets saved Pottery Barn during the economic downturn in.


  9. Helpful (7)

    Political and Stressful

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Merchandise Buyer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Merchandise Buyer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Pottery Barn (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Discounts are 40% Off, sample sales, great location in the city.

    Cons

    Working round the clock, no work life balance, directors and VPs promote workers that are "liked" rather than are qualified and work hard, constant political games, old tools and systems that are not likely to be upgraded anytime soon, low morale in several teams across the board.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Kumbaya

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

    I have been working at Pottery Barn full-time (More than 10 years)

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If you own your environment and filter out the noise you can create a pleasant place to work

    Cons

    The addition of a "wanna be" motivational speaker who takes on an approach as a narcissistic blogger gives new meaning to emotional management gone awry. This is a business that requires real solutions not quotes and philosophical jargon to manipulate managers to believe that one essay provides all the answers. This sermon like approach is dangerously close to proselytizing to an audience that has no voice, some refer to that as a cult. Laura Alber -wake up, please take this company back to Howard's rules! Sadly, the female leadership is proving embarrassing. Credibility matters, each day it declines. You have a company to run, not a self improvement workshop which comes across as condescending and insincere.

    Advice to Management

    Get back to basics, this ship is sinking fast!


  11. Helpful (14)

    Assistant manager

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Pottery Barn

    Pros

    Fellow associates share a common work ethic, strong sense of integrity and mutual respect. The discount and flexibility in scheduling make it tolerable. Shared humor about the absurdity of corporate gives a strength in numbers approach to expectations that are laughable at best. Accountability is the flavor of the day, good luck replacing us!

    Cons

    Upper management is quickly destroying Howard's legacy. 2015 is the year they will witness turnover galore. Fortunately, recruiters love PB as they know anything they offer will pay more and expect less. Pb managers are prime candidates for all retail.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the mind control, listen to the field. Current management is an embarrassment to women in the work force. Stick to business acumen and not life lessons. You didn't hire children and this isn't a cult. Outrageous communications are becoming a laughing stock in stores.



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