Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated August 28, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
612 Reviews

2.7
612 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
253 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

158 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 11 people found this helpful  

    Great brand damaged badly by snobby, mean spirited leadership

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

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

    Pros

    Products are generally high quality and often innovative.. Over priced but with a 40% discount you tend not to care.
    Everyone you meet will tell you how much they LOVE Williams-Sonoma.
    Chuck Williams is the real deal and although he has no influence these days he did start a great Brand.
    Some very smart people work here but they tend not to stick around.

    Cons

    Snobby management that confuse cost with quality. Where else would a Manager obsess about what brand shoes you are wearing and belittle you if it is the wrong one (in their opinion).
    Ridiculous lack of work/life balance. Attitude is that employees should thank their lucky stars to be permitted to work there.
    Always changing rules about bonuses so that, surprise, surprise, there are MANY years with no pay out at all.
    Duplicity in Management: too many senior leaders who are happy to smile at you while they are actually throwing someone under the bus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace cliques with rewards based on merit. Take the time to listen. Weed out mean spirited leaders who lack professional conduct. One step taken in the right direction on that front recently but still people left who struggle with the concept of fairness. Be brave: don't succeed only at expense of blaming others.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be a great company and a wonderful place to work; no longer.

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

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to work for an established brand that is highly regarded.
    Great corporate benefits.
    Great associate discount.
    As a retail job, it's a good one.

    Cons

    Poor management of associates and fellow managers - the GM has zero people skills and bullies her team on a daily basis. There is a considerable amount of pressure on management from corporate, NO management training anymore, laughable pay for the high expectations that corporate has for the managers, and very little understanding from the DM and RVP. on how to run a store with very little payroll.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to what is happening in your stores - associates and managers are being abused and no one is listening. Your store managers are the front lines (if you will), and they take the heat for YOUR indecision regarding promotions and the no-backbone, wishy-washy return policy. No wonder the customers are upset - they are being barraged constantly with the credit card, email requests, inconsistent policies, you name it. It is very difficult to provide the level of customer service that WS customers expect without the support we need from corporate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great company but cheap

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

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

    Pros

    Great working environment , great people.
    Good employee discount on company's product
    Company is growing and expanding

    Cons

    Tight expense control
    Short vacation days for new employees
    Company is going global and 1FTE works at least 1.5 FTE's work

    Positive Outlook
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Slave Drivers!

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

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

    Pros

    the only saving grace is the 40% off!

    Cons

    For a part time job this should have been fun! Hours are bad, pay horrible and management works your butt off. Plus, no breaks, which is illegal. They try to squeeze everything out of you they can for as little pay as they can get away with. All the while charging out the butt for everything in the store. Supervisors act like the gestapo and put you to hard labor, polishing copper pots, mopping floors or cleaning toilets when business is slow and NO talking to co-workers. They watch you like your about to make a run for it or something. All on minimum wage too. I worked for 18 months and got a measly .25 raise, I said adios.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    For crying out loud; Make it fun! You don't pay, so make it fun.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great Customer and Products

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

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

    Pros

    The customers are exceptional. The products are exceptional.

    Cons

    Unrealistic workload for all members of the field. I have 25 years as a retail manager and I have never been so challenged to balance an unrealistic workload with such a unbalanced payroll budget. So many good people have left WS over the last few years because of this and other unreasonable expectations. I loved my time when I first started with WS, but the last three years left me drained and working at another company. The support for the field is not there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Profits over people always cost more in the end. I hope someone wakes up and smells the espresso.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Going downhill

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

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

    Pros

    great products and great associates

    Cons

    Corporate asks for the impossible. As an associate you are expected to carry out too many tasks at once while delivering amazing customer service. It cannot all be done well! And the pay is TERRIBLE

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop having so many meetings. Come into the stores and see what's really going on. So many changes are happening and they're not helping the stores at all.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Micro managed company

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

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

    Pros

    Great discount on all the family of brands. Really smart and friendly coworkers who were a pleasure to work with.

    Cons

    It's hard to grow your career with this company. Very little promotions and when there is it's more of a small pay raise than more responsibility. We supposedly had one of our best years in 2012, but there has been a hiring freeze and many benefits taken away. Why would WS communicate to the team that we're doing awesome and then punish us? There's also very little perks and benefits to working here except for the great employee discount. We used to have 2pm leave on Fridays but that was just recently taken away. What are they thinking? Everyone is going to begin to leave and take advantage of the tech boom in San Francisco and leave for companies who have great benefits. We also acquired and developed new brands in 2012, but instead of hiring more people everyone had to take on additional work and I think the quality of work is suffering because everyone is barely scraping by.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management and the brand presidents are too hands on and micro manage their team and this trickles down to everyone in the company. It's very frustrating when management constantly does whatever it takes to make sales regardless of thinking about the customer experience! They need to back off and listen to their people (the experts) and let us do our job the way we think is best for the company. Of course there needs to be guidance from management, but I feel like it's gotten to the point where we don't feel like our voice is heard.

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

    A Roller Coaster Ride from Hell

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

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

    Pros

    Expert associates. Great challenges. Wonderful customer base. Excellent benefits.

    Cons

    Pay is low. Management is a shark tank. Misguided . Policy changes over night. Micro managed and stressful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Relax. Stop selling "Made in China" inferior products. Respect your associates and customers. You really do get what you pay for. The company is extremely indecisive. Make a plan and stick with the plan.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 9 people found this helpful  

    You do NOT want to work here!

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    You will be exposed to some fantastic & inspirational design when you see the merchandise the design team has culled by shopping competitor's lines. This company rips people off shamelessly- there are lawyers on staff to see how closely a design can copy another company without getting sued. At least by working there you can be inspired by the original. The design process has all the methodology & business savvy of housewives picking out drapes at the Design Center.

    There are some lovely people who work at Williams Sonoma. These people will be overlooked for promotions for years running. If you feel like you're having a uniquely bad experience, take heart! Dozens of people have suffered the same ill-treatment. Hedge your bets and get out early!

    Cons

    At least 20% of this company's staff is contract workers. These people are led to believe that they will be hired full-time at a date which never arrives. In the meantime, contract workers are not given benefits, have a low hourly wage, and are forced to take off one month every six months so that Williams Sonoma does not get sued. Who's the winner here?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Where to begin? First, get rid of the contract employee surf-dom that's become a Williams Sonoma institution. It breeds ill will for the whole company. No one should be a contractor for more than 3 months. Second, clean house with the management, from CEO on down. The CEO should not be dropping in to micro-manage brands. She should hire genuinely talented people and trust their judgement. It should be a wake-up call for management that West Elm is by far the design superpower of this conglomerate, and being in NYC, they are a welcome distance from senior management. Second, get rid of the majority of managers. The managers at Williams Sonoma operate on fear, resorting to back biting, hiring inferior people who they can control, and generally resorting to some of the nastiest politics imaginable. San Francisco is a center of design with one of the brightest talent pools in the world to draw from. This company should be blossoming- not suffering in some backwater of design stagnation!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work

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

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

    Pros

    I love working at Williams and Sonoma. The job is alot of fun and the people are great. You meet the most wonderful people and we get great tips and ideas from our customers. The discount is wonderful. This job is one of the most wonderful and enjoyable I have ever had. I hate to think of going anywhere else. I am a very loyal person to the company I work for, but these latest round of payroll cuts has me very frustrated.

    Cons

    The current upper management does not appear to care about the employees or their customers. Stores are being asked to cut more and more of their payroll and continue to do the same if not more work. It is getting harder to give the service we need to give our customers with less and less payroll.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management needs to look at what this is doing to their stores and to their customers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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