Williams-Sonoma

  www.williams-sonomainc.com
  www.williams-sonomainc.com
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Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated September 14, 2014
Updated September 14, 2014
616 Reviews
2.7
616 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discount for to enable everyone to spend their salary in store (in 82 reviews)

  • Best Reason to work here is the employee discount and the Sample Sales (in 50 reviews)


Cons
  • No work life balance, payroll constantly being cut some DMs had little pets who could do no wrong (in 25 reviews)

  • The current upper management does not appear to care about the employees or their customers (in 33 reviews)

More Highlights

94 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    Horribly Disorganized

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Quality merchandise and a brand recognized as an industry leader.

    Cons

    Extreme disorganization, lack of clear communication, outdated technology, lack of focus and direction, and consequently very poor morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Williams-Sonoma should have been my perfect home. I am a passionate cook and baker, a retail management professional, and a loyal customer of the brand and the products. I left a management role at Sur La Table to move to Williams-Sonoma just as the company was launching one of my favorite initiatives, Agrarian. As a home gardener, canner, etc. I was excited to take over the store's culinary program. Little did I know what I nightmare this job would become.

    I was surrounded by a well-meaning, positive, and extremely tenured staff at my location (several sales associates had been with the company for nearly twenty years) who, due to erratic schedules, payroll restraints, and lack of organization had very little product knowledge to share with customers. This was just the first clue as to why the company was struggling to meet sales goals.

    Coming from one of WS's major competitors, where we had had an unrealistic envy of Williams-Sonoma's brand and organizational might, I was shocked to discover how poorly this company was run from the top all the way down. The lack of communication and direction from leadership translated into daily nightmares with supply chain, visual merchandising, workplace safety (imagine squeezing your body completely flat against the entire length of the stockroom hallway to pass through corridors jammed with boxes to the ceiling in order to get to the restroom. During holiday, excess product had to be stored in outside storage closets unsecured by alarms or cameras), and everyday policies and procedures. The technology, systems, and tools in place at the store level were so varied, antiquated, and esoteric that accurate inventory control was nearly impossible. Add to this poor morale generated from overworked management and you have chaos on your hands.

    As many other reviewers have stated, there is an overwhelming need for undercover visits from upper management. All contact with upper management that occurred while I was with Williams-Sonoma was previously announced and frenetically prepared for by managers working around the clock and payroll blown to smithereens in order to produce a catalogue-esque front in time for store visits.

    During my time with the company I had the great fortune of meeting and working with some fantastic and dedicated people, and I am grateful for that. My sincerest wish is that the folks who are out there busting their butts every day do start to get some recognition and will be listened to when they have feedback that might help the company to stay competitive. If anybody knows what the customer and the business wants and needs, it's the folks on the front lines.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Need to get back to basics

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great discount, great friends, fun customers, flexible hours (as in very few hours given to work) good discount for shopping for gifts for family and friends

    Cons

    low pay, poor training, few hours, poor corporate support

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out from behind that desk and computer and experience day to day in the store - - poor working conditions, to much expected on a daily basis, have gotten away from customer service, have forgotten the basics the company was founded on - great product and customer service - now its just the bottom line - profit profit profit!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    It was a slow-going nightmare.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate  in  The Colony, TX
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in The Colony, TX

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Nice catalogs and product representation. You get to talk to loyal customers who have been spoiled by lax return policies.

    Cons

    Complaints about West Elm branch company's furniture and Pottery Barn horrendous quality and issues (backpacks), as well as, the unexplainable inventory supply and delivery setbacks with the vendors make for nightmare customer relations. One supervisor who seems to care does not make up for all others who will do anything just to make the customer shut up and don't back up the agents - at all. There was obvious favoritism and patronizing among the management to the detriment of seasonal employees with experience and ideas who are never nurtured or given positive feedback. Managers are taught how to CYA (cover their asses) in HR with any employee who is disgruntled due to their lack of management ability. They issue write-ups when they sense there may be a complaint by an FSA coming their way. There are all sorts of violations for uses of discriminatory language in their trainings - that went unaddressed - and misinformation in training to agents that is not consistent with practical application when actually on duty. It was appalling how insensitive management is to seasonal employees needs. I have never seen so many employees this dissatisfied so soon after training as in this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get management and cultural diversity training so you won't get sued someday and affect everyone at WS.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Upper management is terrible

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great discount, the associates are generally great to work with. In store management was great too.

    Cons

    Total lack of planning, structure and implementation by senior management. EVERYTHING appears to catch senior management by surprise. Never before have I seen such a reactionary group of District Managers, Vice Presidents, Regional Managers and so on. Lack of communication, poor planning and absolutely terrible execution. Shipments are a daily disaster. Senior management throws in store management and associates under the bus regularly. I've personally witnessed management lying to cover their behinds.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to management is get in the stores and understand what is happening to your in store management and staff. Being constantly berated, overworked and under supported is how EVERYONE in our region feels right now. Wonder why there are so many vacancies???

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Not worth the time and effort

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Meeting other holiday staff associates
    Discounts on purchases

    Cons

    Middle managers treat staff poorly and have little skill working in management roles and motivating teams.
    The seasonal staff are provided with minimal training and are not put in a position to succeed.
    Position is comparable to a high school atmosphere regardless of the age and experience of the associates.
    The minimum wage salary is not worth the effort and time commitment required.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop a more organized approach to training. Invest more effort and training for full-time associate managers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Horribly unprofessional workplace

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Sample sales and employee discount. Good first job out of college. Get your feet wet then graduate to a professionally managed corporation.

    Cons

    WSU doesn't promote from within. Very incompetent management. Bordering on harassment and gender discrimination. Management is very unprofessional. Don't get stuck in this hole.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house and reorganize

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    I wanted so much to love my job...

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Prestigious company to work for & 40% discount to Williams Sonoma, West Elm, Pottery Barn & Pottery Barn Kids

    Cons

    Absolutely no payroll

    Not willing to listen to any feedback given

    fight for your pay, can be low if you don't know how to sell yourself

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I had done my homework before accepting my position with Williams Sonoma & I was well aware of the reviews on Glassdoor.com & also what I heard from current Management but the explanation that I received for this from the higher-ups was that stale Store Management that had been with the company too long, were not willing to change their ways as the company looked to the future.... I have been with Williams Sonoma for 2 months & I knew a month ago that something was very wrong here. For starters you are expected to be under 7% payroll the previous company I worked for was 11% (I always came in at 10%)... they are the same volume store.

    Greed has gotten the better of this company. This job comes with a lot of responsibility, keep in mind all the cooking classes, maintaining the kitchen & shopping for groceries, clienteling is huge here & the program they have in place is poorly put together, the POS systems are outdated & this causes long lines & you will deal with many many angry customers because of this, a return can take a good 5 min

    Corporate turns a blind eye to all of this feedback & that is the most disappointing part... We just lost an amazing Assistant Manager who has been with the company for several years (& not letting us replace her) & now both myself & our GM are looking for opportunities else ware ... we are both new.

    I wanted so much to love my job...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Unhappy

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    most of the people you work with are great, and the discount is nice

    Cons

    toxic environment, mixed messages, no support to reach goals, unrealistic goals, hectic overwhelming environment, no proper training

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more payroll to the store, pay great employees better - it is a different job to do

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    People first? People last

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Nice discount on less expensive product.

    Cons

    Pathetic bastardization of the rules and values that the company was built on. Quoting Howard incessantly does not make up for the daily effort to spit on everything he stood for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a look at yourselves in the mirror. What you see may be alarming at first. But consider it as a bold first step. Stop parading around on a private jet to pop into our stores while at the same time attempting to justify the reasoning behind our inability to order shopping backs because we have to be conscious of the bottom line. It's pathetic and it is high up on the list of reasons why a once great company will be reduced to nothing in the next 5 years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Discouraging supervisory staff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate  in  Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Las Vegas, NV

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Med Benefits are ok, not stellar. 40% discount on most items, unfortunately wages are so low it's not feasible to purchase any unless you have another source of income. During holiday season, they offer OT. They provide a free turkey for T-day, but you need to claim it on your income tax as a gift.

    Cons

    Where do I begin...horrible supervisors. None are ever trained and only get the position if they are "liked". The really talented customer service folks get overlooked, not to outshine management in any way. As a customer service rep, you are encouraged to express ideas but once you do, you are an outcast and alienated. Most important, supervisors make up stories about your performance and submit them to HR so if you need to file for unemployment down the line, you would have to arbitrate. This is the worst company I've ever worked for, I truly regret every minute of being there. Resigned to regain my quality of life.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your personnel, they currently break every labor law in the state of Nevada.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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