Pottery Barn Reviews

Updated July 18, 2015
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Pottery Barn President Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
35 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

78 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - General Manager in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - General Manager in Houston, TX

    I worked at Pottery Barn full-time (More than 10 years)

    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great discount, can really learn a lot about design. Product is different though there is a big disconnect on getting it to the customer.

    Cons

    You will never feel like you get your work done. Payroll is the first place they save and it falls on the salaried managers. Visual updates, price changes, and the focus to get in home consultations is a joke. As it is you can't take care of the customer walking in ready to purchase for trying to turn it into an "in home consultation." It's very much a dog and pony show. If your regional mgr or corporate visits are scheduled they will tell you to spend all that you need to put in the show.

    Advice to Management

    Reality check yourselves.. Look at the workload, could you do what you ask of your teams? Try popping stores with no warning and look at reality! Your stores look horrible 80% of the time and as a former employee , myself and friends and family can't even get a hello from your teams because they are trying to help 5-6 customers at a time. World Class Service..... Not! They are probably on an in home with manager trying to make that almighty metric while the customer with the money to spend has taken the time to drive to the store but wait they can't even get a hello!


  2. Helpful (5)

    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 part-time

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

    Pros

    The PB brand is quality. The non-management people are pretty nice.

    Cons

    Managers are too stressed about numbers - PB credit cards, email captures, associate sales per hour, LY, daily budget. The technology is so incredibly behind the times, the customer service suffers. The ship to store policy is the worst. The paper chase is just incredible on the various purchasing options. Customers are always telling me what Crate and Barrel does better. There is not enough training. The sales associates are expected to do way too many tedious and often backbreaking chores, including getting their own stock and cleaning. The employees are last to leave the mall at night because of the ridiculous store closing procedures.Why do all register have to remain open? Why are nightly emails generated regarding the sales for the day?

    Advice to Management

    Update your technology on all levels. Train you associates. Make sure someone (preferably 2 people) are scheduled in the stock room on all shifts. Get rid of ship to store and ship to customer. Make online/catalog returns immediate and seamless. Stock the stores with merchandise!! Makes sure the sales associates focus is product knowledge and helping customers - not emptying garbage and cleaning. Clean house starting with regional / district managers - way too many of them in those positions for too long.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Management needs a major overhaul

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    20-40% discount. Nice co-workers (non management) flexible schedule

    Cons

    Discount no longer 40%. 20% on sale items.Pay is slightly above minimum wage. Don't expect more than $12 per hour after working there 10-15 years. Seriously. How can one afford to purchase from PB when you make so little?! No growth. Revolving door with managers quitting. Passive-aggressive management. No leadership - Blinders on. Technology is from the 1990's. It's changed. No longer a fun place to work. Most people, some managers currently looking for another job elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Grow up and manage your employees. Stop placating your staff with false praises. Employees are intelligent and see through this. Train general managers and assistant managers how to be respectful and how to team build. Current new male assistant mgr driving long-time associates to quit and has told associates he plans to take over the current GM's job at this store. "There's a new sheriff in town," he says. Wonder if the GM is aware of this? Quit replacing departed managers with another warm body because you're desperate to fill the opening so you won't need to work the extra hours required because you're short-staffed. Be more selective.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Great Overall Goal / Horrible Execution

    • 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 (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    They give ok benifits for full time employees, and a pretty flexable schedule

    Cons

    Understaffed, poor technology, and disjointed systems for customer service. The product quality has gone downhil in the last years too.

    Advice to Management

    Dedicate funds to restore the brand through inovation and not by following the budget mindedness of other retailers. Pottery Barn use to mean quality. Make your employees feel valuable and give them the opportunities to move up rather than hiring from outside the company.


  6. Helpful (17)

    General Manager

    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Within your own four walls you can create the atmosphere you wish!

    Cons

    If you like working for a highly micromanaged company and wasting your time on fruitless conference calls and submitting ridiculous pieces of paperwork than this is a great place for you! If you like working for a bunch of sorority girls that change their minds weekly on what we should do as a company, what you should do as a store, as a manager, than join this brand! There is no consistency and what was once important and a huge focus one week is no longer of importance the next. Flexibility and adaptability aside, it makes your head spin. Gone are the days when actual service and training were a top priority. Now it's required to solicit customers that have had great experiences in the store and request them to fill out a survey, why, so upper management can have a false sense of reality! Stores are understaffed due to payroll cuts, weighted down with their looming to-do lists and lack any support from their leadership teams. And after working tirelessly, at the end of the year you might just get a 2% raise!

    Advice to Management

    Remove all of the wasteful and nonproductive requirements that bog down the stores. The higher executives should actually do "drop in" visits throughout the country to see what a store really looks like and how they run - because your exec visit are nothing but again, a false sense of reality. And pay for performance should be automatic. The hardest working individuals are the least paid (non-exempt managers) and always the most overlooked.


  7. Helpful (9)

    Pottery Barn Kids

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Casual Sales Associate in West Des Moines, IA
    Former Employee - Casual Sales Associate in West Des Moines, IA

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I worked for kids and though the GM had a lot of pressure from upper management, she also had realistic expectations and was amazing to work under. Awesome people to work with and everyone enjoyed being there. Amazing discount, 40%. Very understanding of family obligations. Great job if you just want something fun to do.

    Cons

    Training was a joke, they cut hours a lot, they avoid full time at all costs so they don't have to give you benefits. Would get a call while on my way saying corporate cut hours so not to come, then expect you to show up the next day ready to make up for what couldn't be done the day before. No way to actually count on a paycheck to budget with.

    Advice to Management

    When people are counting on a paycheck to feed their family, please don't cut shifts to make your numbers look better.


  8. Helpful (15)

    Employee Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Corte Madera, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Corte Madera, CA

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

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

    Pros

    Great colleagues - this is why we work here!

    Cons

    Extremely low pay, corporate disconnect with store employees who are the public face and voice of PB, financial metric label of the value of store employees - ignoring the immeasurable value we bring to customer relations. Customer continued complaints about the trending loss of customer relations and service they've experience at PB. Why? Because the corporate edict to increase sales revenue, capture emails, and open credit cards is transparent to customers. They get this everywhere in retail. PB should set themselves apart by focusing on customer service and sales will follow. Customers know we do not work on commission. Therefore, they trust we are listening to them and focusing on their needs as opposed to our employee revenue numbers and corporate sales. Why create a work environment that sends an obvious profit message to customers?

    Advice to Management

    The store sales staff hear continued customer complaints about the trending loss of customer relations and service they've experience at PB. Why? Because the corporate edict to increase sales revenue, capture emails, and open credit cards is transparent to customers and impacting sales associates ability to provide excellent service. Customers are bombarded with this type of pressure marketing everywhere they shop in retail. PB should set themselves apart by focusing back on excellent customer service and sales will follow. Customers know we do not work on commission. Therefore, they should trust we are listening to them and focusing on their needs as opposed to our employee revenue numbers and corporate sales. Why create a pressured work environment that sends an obvious corporate profit message to customers? If this is the future of PB's corporate expectations of store employees, then pay commission on the extremely low pay offered. Your store employees are professionals (many of us bring a wealth of education and professional experience from our previous careers), intelligent, and personal in what we bring to customers on your behalf. Customers recognize and value this when they come to the store. PB corporate should too. For some odd reason, we are invisible to corporate as individuals and staff. Observation -- this corporation is run by women and predominantly employs women. Our compensation should reflect our worth as professionals and the value we bring to corporate PB and the public's perception of the Pottery Barn employee.


  9. Helpful (2)

    High Pressure

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

    I have been working at Pottery Barn part-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Good discount and most co-workers are nice.

    Cons

    Performance based more on metrics than personal strengths, no training AT ALL

    Advice to Management

    Provide at least rudimentary training


  10. Helpful (10)

    The service values and people first culture this company strives to uphold is waning.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    I've been fortunate enough to work with some amazingly talented people, from sales to creative to management. It really does take a village and the right people in that village do make it worth it on those tough days.

    Cons

    Corporate management is too hard on stores. Everyone on a sure level bears the brunt of all the issue trickled down from everyone above. You're expected to constantly perform at the top of your game without compassion for the toll that takes, and your only constant reward is a bunch of "THANK YOUs" in over bearing emails and conference calls. Too much micro managing, not enough monetary compensation. We have to fight for our work life balance as opposed to it being given to us. No consideration for what working with the public can be like, just constant pressure to make your numbers and metrics.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to be human and treat your team with the utmost respect. No one is beyond your compassion. Tone down on the loud voices and cheers and take genuine interest on what your store level teams are going through with the public and constant updates that we're supposed to react to immediately, all the time.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Top-Performing Salesfloor Associate..Harassed by Stockroom Manager, so I left.

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

    I worked at Pottery Barn part-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Extremely high-volume storefront, great clientele, friendly associates

    Cons

    Dated Stock Room Management that loses Sales and Angers Customers - customers also lose faith in the sales associates, yet we are not the ones pulling stock - and we are yelled at if we do run and grab something small - so management would rather lose sales than serve paying and waiting customers, Awkward Radios, Micromanaging in the form of Harassment, Store Management does not listen to issues. Smaller market showrooms are hostile to customers and employees.. to the point where I did not complete a large employee order when on vacation, due to assumptions for the reasoning behind my purchase...yet they had no clue about where our High Volume store was located..they lost me and my mother - a 25 year patron. It makes sense, and these other reviews too - Pottery Barn is feeling the heat from smaller brands that are willing to listen to customers, employees and change their entire brand if they have to, Pottery barn is just Pottery Barn at this point, the catalogs are stale from 10 years ago, yet they keep sending them! I honestly pay comfortable paying 3x more for the privilege to shop elsewhere. Also lack of title training, I acted as a Design Studio Specialist for over half the time that I was employed, including the visitation of customers' homes.. yet management refused to officially give me the title.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees when they are frustrated that the stock room manager is picking on them, harassing them, and micromanaging them whilst they are working with dedicated clients.



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