Williams-Sonoma

  www.williams-sonomainc.com
  www.williams-sonomainc.com

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated December 8, 2014
Updated December 8, 2014
661 Reviews
2.8
661 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
286 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount for to enable everyone to spend their salary in store (in 87 reviews)

  • Work life balance - is great as long as you get what you need done (in 26 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is often unbalanced especially during the holiday seasons (in 31 reviews)

  • Upper management never visits the stores- causing a complete disconnect from stores to corporate (in 39 reviews)

More Highlights

102 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Companay Need to Honor their Offers to Customers

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    A wide variety of Interesting products

    Cons

    Customers get angry because they are agressive with offers, but then renigs on them after the customer purchases

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Always act honorably with your customer, as well as your employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    The Only Corporate Direction is Down

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    the discount
    amazing team in our store

    Cons

    Too many to list. See below

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's time for upper management to step out of the office and put on a green apron. Anonymously. Your employees, many of whom have worked for you for many, many years are drowning. We are drowning in metrics, feature changes, inconsistent and last minute perimeter revamps, an ineffective and expensive Jr chef's program, slow computer systems; minimal coverage; overflowing stock rooms due to reduced hours; a corporate driven culinary program with zero flexibility, regionalism or promotion focus; commissioned sales type expectations on a minimum wage; zero to little training, and very low morale. You need to experience all of this. Not for an hour, not for a day, but long enough to understand to make some changes or this store we all love and care about will vanish forever.

    It's time you understand the implications of your decisions and pie-in-the-sky ideas (in-home, anyone?) at the store level. While I understand the ultimate goal of getting into our customers homes to create a dependence on our whole brand, I don't think you expected our customers to take advantage of the opportunity to have a retail associate come into their home and throw their child's birthday party all because we are expected to make customers happy at all costs. We are not trained decorators nor have we been armed with even the minimal tools to successfully make a sale in someone's home. No samples, no tablets, having employees wait at the store for the phone to ring for the "BIG" in-home sale that never comes, in-home hours allocated at the expense of store hours or unloading the truck to run the store? I don't think you want us to become glorified multi-level marketing sales people. If that is the plan, it's time to share it with your associates.

    The future of retailing is showroom marketing with interactive experiences. It's being driven by technology and convenience. We see this everyday as our customers bring in their phones and price-shop right in front of us pulling up our website faster than we can on our antiquated computers. Despite all of this, our brand still means for many consumers a sense of elegance and class. The "made in China" labels on the back of our holiday plates where we used to see Spode and the stocking of items that can be found at Bed Bath and Beyond are cheapening our brand.

    Having been a commissioned sales person in a former life for many years, I knew that the more I sold the more the company made and usually the more I made. Despite this background, I used to love the team-selling atmosphere at W-S, which has been tarnished by SPH. I would love to see the sales figures prior to the SPH model. I have a hard time believing they are any different. We all miss the sales contests and premiums that made the job fun and rewarding. Now we have employees stealing sales from one another with no result other than to break down camaraderie and the team. Also, it is difficult to achieve SPH goals when you are a consistent closer or have a Monday morning open shift when everyone brings in returns. Your employees took a part-time job because it fits into their schedules, and usually aren't available 24/7, so employees on the bottom of the SPH usually are working the hours when there are fewer customers in the store. You want managers to "schedule your better performers during peak hours" but what if they aren't available?

    One word about our team: if it weren’t for our managers, everyone would be out the door. They lead the ever-changing charge with smiles on their faces. In our store, they manage to bring fun, a positive attitude and treat our customers and us with the “People First” philosophy despite the fact they don’t always receive the same. Customer service is always at the forefront and we do what we can to get to “YES”. We have a great team, work hard despite our concerns and always manage to laugh.

    Finally, it's time you conduct a demographic survey of your store associates and understand what a wealth of knowledge and experience you have in your stores. Many of us are college-educated, passionate about food and entertaining, professional, loyal employees and spend more than we make IN THE STORE. We used to be your best customers but when the only two things that are great about working at W-S are the people and the discount, it's time for reflection. The people are now our friends and the discount has been watered down with customer promotions making it not as special. Besides, I can buy Oxo anywhere.

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

    Exempt = Slave

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are no pros when you work around the clock for a daily slap in the face.

    Cons

    Zero payroll. Zero recognition. Wildly unrealistic expectations to accomplish without any funding. If you are exempt....best of luck. You are now a slave of Williams-Sonoma. Kiss your kids and wife goodbye. Pack your sleeping bag and head to work. You literally have to patch drywall, hang ceiling fixtures, paint and wall paper. Unload a UPS truck, process it, all while running your floor. No budget for visual and floor sets, no budget for training, no budget for processing merchandise deliveries. It is truly a thankless job. Every day you have to listen to a voicemail before you open which essentially tells you how much you suck. Then you take call after call of mundane repetitive crap that tells you how much you suck....about 4 hours of conference calls and then they wonder how you could possibly miss a deadline. With no payroll. Oh, wait. You're exempt. You work for FREE!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Yikes...if only a paragraph could begin to cover it. Maybe you should talk to people and get an actual read on how the field feels...then you will get some advice. If they actually share because they aren't scared to death of career suicide..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Put together a plan, and stick with it. Don't be so reactive.

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The discount is great. Associates are passionate about products and service.

    Cons

    Get a plan in place and follow through. I realize that retail is becoming more competitive, but making dramatic changes on a daily basis wears down the store teams. Corporates leaders are scared of the competition and it shows. No longer do managers manage, they are now salespeople and cashiers. Managers are expected to train, clientele, coach, write schedules, restock, implement visual changes, all while assisting customers. I can't imagine this is the vision that Chuck and Howard had.......even though our corporate leaders would like us to believe that. Managers constantly hear that they should be self critical. Perhaps our corporate leaders should look in the mirror, and say those words.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit worrying about what Sur La Table is doing. Let stores do what they do best...give great service. Realize what you are asking of your teams. Stores should not have to spend valuable payroll dollars to prepare for corporate visits. You need to see what reality looks like on 220 hours a week. Think about the safety of your teams when you cut payroll, and stockrooms become dangerous.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    The Epitome of Greed

    • 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 Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    40% discount, Sample Sales, sexy company - it impresses people when you say your work there.

    Cons

    Weak leadership. Very political and promotions are based on favoritism. They profess to value their people but in fact the only thing they value is money. When times were tough no one got a raise but executives still got bonuses.They are dishonest, unfair and under-handed. Human Resources is run very poorly. Toxic environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Live the core values you say you have.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Their "People First" philosophy is a joke

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great discount
    Stellar product
    Sense of community within district
    Feedback from the field is actually utilized
    Contests really help rally the teams

    Cons

    Out of control work load
    No quality of life
    Hard work goes unnoticed
    Terminated as a result of a chronic disease. All they care about is $$, so heaven forbid you should stand in the way of that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that we are human beings and not hamsters just running the wheel. All the 911's were incredibly stressful and then we were expected to provide "world class service" in addition with little to no coverage. Also, go away from the rigid structure of the secret shops and allow store associates to build relationships in a less robotic way.

    Also, hire HR managers who aren't putting you at risk for a lawsuit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    The call center in The Colony, TX is a circus!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in The Colony, TX
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in The Colony, TX

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The discount is good at 40%, but the product are so highly marked up that it really negates any real benefit.

    Cons

    The hiring pracices are laughable at the call center in The Colony, TX. The pay is terrible and the technology is beyond archaic. DOS based AS400 is used and this is 2014! Typical greedy corporation that is only worried about execs and maximizing share holder wealth. Attrition is high due to horrible hiring practices, which adds a burden to those already working and actually able to function. Very surprised to see that catalogs are still used so extensively in this day and age and that their upper crust client base is unable to handle online orders. Just a very bizarre place and environment with inmates running the asylum!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Going to have to ultimately update from AS400 to at least Windows 95! Lol.... The kids that get hired have never even seen DOS based programs before. Might take a hit in the greedy overpaid execs compensation and share price, but in the long run dinosaurs become extinct!
    Cash is king, so giving away product is nice, but folks need to make a living, so the greed at the top will ultimately be your demise. Pay more and get decent workers that care about what you are doing and feel vested in the operation. Most there are just there until they can find somerhing better. Think you expect way too much for $11 per hour and you get what you pay for. :)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Senior Vice President gave the job a 4 star review, "dream" of working her job!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate - Part Time Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Sales Associate - Part Time Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You get a 40% discount off only full price items. Sometimes they send the stores a basket of sweets if their sales are up for all employees to share if, there is a minute to take a break from the sales floor.

    Cons

    Slave drivers. No payroll for stores in any brand. Never enough people to help complete tasks let alone ring people. Frustrated customers because corporate does not get the merchandise to stores on a timely basis or, undamaged. No support from corporate. No respect for the extremely overworked employees who are pushed to sell and are not compensated in any way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First of all, a Senior Vice President should not write "great company for women" in her review. If there is really a "people first culture" store associates must not be considered people.
    Staff in all stores and brands work extremely hard and "smart". If you are "smart", try working one week, saturday to sunday in any store with staff (after you cut payroll mid-week) that knows how a store should be run.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Upgrade technology and ditch coupons

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I love my co-workers and my managers.

    Cons

    Store systems are ancient. Registers, Store Wide Web system, printers and faxes are impractical and obsolete. Very frustrating. WS does not provide the proper technology/equipment that I need in order to help WS customers. Promotions are degrading the brand. Customers are treating the store like a flea market and berating me for not giving them extra discounts. They have been conditioned by WS to expect discounts and deals. Because they get so many emails, they expect flexibility on what item can be discounted. I have had three people this week ask me if WS is going out of business. I am beginning to search for a new job that provides me with the tools, payroll, and backing to support my responsibilities. Know that if you work for WS, your main job will be to work around technological obstacles. Are you willing to be frustrate day in, day out?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update your technology. It is becoming a major issue in the stores. Change the website, as the new look/visual is clinical instead of warm/inviting. The overall tone has become very corporate, unfriendly, greedy, and alienating high-end customers. Stop making employees accountable for people who don't want to give their email. Please realize that it does appear that the company is going out of business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Room For Improvement

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    They paid well.
    Had a good discount.

    Cons

    The people who worked there treated other employees horribly unless they were friends.
    Lied when telling me the temporary position had ended.
    No good management.
    No good training programs.
    Would take time to help you.
    Snobby people.
    People were leaving left and right because of how people treated each other and the work ethics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the people you have working for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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