Pottery Barn Reviews

Updated September 30, 2014
Updated September 30, 2014
260 Reviews
2.9
260 Reviews
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Pottery Barn President Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
99 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount on some nice merchandise in all WS brands, even catalog purchases (in 26 reviews)

  • The environment is super nice, product is easy to stand behind & the 40% employee discount is awesome (in 24 reviews)


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

  • low pay, creates competition even when pay is not on commission (in 18 reviews)

More Highlights

56 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    Unrealistic Expectations. Remote/Uncaring Upper Management. Hypocritical Values

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

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

    Pros

    At the heart of the company are many well meaning, hard working, and over performing sales associates and store based field leadership teams. The discount is generous. The benefits comparable to other retailers. The product is quality and the name brand lends itself to a strong resume.

    Cons

    The unrealistic expectations of the company are made on the backs of the Exempt Managers. The lack of payroll to accomplish ever increasing tasks, operations, and high level visual projects would be laughable if it were not truly tragic to see these hard working individual sacrifice personal time, vacation time, and sick time all on the hope of gaining the approval of a distant uncaring DM/RVP/SVP. To ask for help or to openly question the lack of payroll is to be seen as a troublemaker and unable to " manage time properly." Teams are exhausted. Frustrated. Demoralized. This cultural shift starts at the top and works it's way through to the DM level. The store level managers have no voice and no advocate. They are pawns of upper management and badgered by associates and customers.

    Metrics, levers, clienteling, events, and promos have taken the place of true customer service. If you think In Home and In Store appointments is compensation for excellent world class service you are mistaken. If you want that program to truly excel - give the payroll needed to ensure the store can still be run effectively. Two associates in the store to stock, clean, complete visual moves, participate in any of a number of conference calls, complete audits, take trucks, process shipment, the list is endless and two people can not get it done, and still go out on a 2 hour in home to sell a $3000 sofa. And again, to mention this to a DM or RVP is to be seen as a substandard leader.

    Your stock rooms are filled and unsafe. Your stores are dusty and dirty. Your teams are stretched thin and rapidly leaving. But you still think you are a premier retailer. You are really a joke. Paying a Design Specialist $13 an hour when they make over $1 million in sales for your company a year is a joke and a travesty. It is far from People First. Your 1.5-2% yearly increase is a slap in the face for all the hard work your managers do; especially when corporate executives receive a 130% increase and enormous bonuses - it stinks of elitism and misconduct.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Any advice given would fall on deaf ears. It is easier to paint the individuals who are leaving and speaking out as under performers and troublemaker than to truly look in the mirror and see the opportunity that this company has for improvement.

    Only way to ensure a better work environment would be to restructure the way the stores are run. Give recourses and payroll that truly meet the demands of the business. Allow the teams to process shipment, create inspirational visuals, and engage in world class service and clienteling - but compensate the store with payroll and tools that allow them to do it successfully.

    If you want high performing, skilled, and motivated managers and associates - then give payroll for training and continued education. So far - all that has been done is lip service. Your webinars are a joke. Your training material is a waste of paper if there is no time and money to execute them.

    But again…this review is easier to be seen as "just one more" disillusioned, burned out, manager.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Was not a good fit for this company nor vice versa.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Pottery Barn full-time

    Pros

    Great training ground if you're just starting out in a particular retail specialized function such as distribution, planning, merchandising, etc.

    Cons

    New employees coming in with past depth of experience were not valued IMO. They are leveled down from prior companies (even if like or even greater volume experience). VP's were taking on tasks which I'd done at an assistant level elsewhere. It was not an empowering environment. Micro-managed from top down. You are put in a specialized category (i.e. - brick & mortar retail) which limits you from being able to learn another channel for experience. Once in this channel, you are unlikely to change to DTC

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empower your employees. Delegate and let them go to run their businesses.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Expecting more and more work for no more pay

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

    I have been working at Pottery Barn part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Nice product beautiful environment if you like interiors, I had a great GM and our district manager was also really good. We have lots of regular customers at our store who are lovely.

    Cons

    New district manager who has been very unpleasant to the store manager and drove her out. Expectations of the mostly part time staff to visit customer home and give design advice with very little training and no extra pay. Hours constantly cut so you can't do your job properly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your people properly don't think that respect is something the store staff gives to the customer but corporate needn't give to the people working in your stores.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    NOT people first!

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

    I have been working at Pottery Barn

    Pros

    Talented and dedicated coworkers. Product is hip and fun to sell. 40% discount, although pay is too low to purchase anything.

    Cons

    Absolutely never enough people scheduled. Constant cuts of hours. Expectations for Design Studio Specialists without proper pay, support or adequate time to actually design are absurd!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you are preaching! Really put people first! Focus on customer service and employee appreciation instead of an obsessive focus on reports, conference calls and metrics!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Pay is good but working environment not great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Saint Paul, MN
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Saint Paul, MN

    I have been working at Pottery Barn part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    They pay well and the discount is good. They have good intentions, but make a lot of empty promises.

    Cons

    It is a very disorganized environment. You are provided with little to no training. The associates are not all treated equally. The stockrooms are disorganized and often unsafe.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Company makes it hard to do your job

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

    I have been working at Pottery Barn

    Pros

    Great discount at all the WS brands

    Cons

    Work life balance, out of date technology, and no communication with customer service reps

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update technology you will make more money then you spend on the updates

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    not the company it once was

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Stock Associate in Geneva, IL
    Current Employee - Stock Associate in Geneva, IL

    I have been working at Pottery Barn part-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    like the people I work with, very physical job, just enough hours for part-time job

    Cons

    goals set by corp. are also impossible to meet with the hours allotted by corp.
    never enough floor coverage, always cutting hours

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not a great company culture.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Pottery Barn

    Pros

    This is a good company to work at if you're starting out and need to build experience.

    Cons

    It's very difficult to grow in this company unless you fit in with upper management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate.

  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Not what is all cracked up to be.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Design Studio Specialist in Colorado Springs, CO
    Former Employee - Design Studio Specialist in Colorado Springs, CO

    I worked at Pottery Barn part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Loved being part of a company that was the trend setter. Enjoyed the type of clients that shopped at the store.

    Cons

    Not paid enough for talent provided. They expect you to be highly creative with interior design but are not willing to compensate you for your talents. In a nutshell felt like all that was important was that management got their raise based on the stores overall numbers but never passed it on to the highly creative sales sales staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management should be more appreciative of the talent they have and compensate accordingly. In addition

    No opinion of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    The product is the only good thing

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

    I worked at Pottery Barn part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The constant change in product and visual merchandising makes the store a fun place to be in and the discount makes product affordable with such low pay. It is easy to get time off as a casual sales associate. A fun job if you truly do not need the money and just want something to do on the side.

    Cons

    The pay is just above minimum3 wage with no commission. There is no incentive to sell except that if your numbers don't look good you won't get any hours. This company truly puts their employees last.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to keep talented associates, consider respecting their needs and stop cutting their hours.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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