Williams-Sonoma

  www.williams-sonomainc.com
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11 people found this helpful  

Williams-Sonoma will never be the same without Howard Lester

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

Pros

Great discount across all company brands (Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Williams Home, PBTeen, PBKids, Mark and Graham). Great people in the stores.

Cons

Almost too many to list. Infuriating email marketing techniques make the company look cheap and shady, leaves the customers confused and bombarded and undercuts the integrity of the brand. Absolutely NO transparency at the corporate level. Those of us in the stores never know what's going on, have no clear why decisions are made as hastily as they are, no communication about job openings even in our own districts, extremely poor communication about business models and goals. Completely unattainable email capture expectations (even in states where it is illegal to ask for email). Too many "promotions," "sales," and "specials" to keep track of or to properly use to the stores' or customers' advantage. Members of the corporate team never provide support or feedback to stores; it is next to impossible to get a return phone call or email even for customer service or product issues. Pay is embarrassingly low and fails to provide the vast majority of in-store employees a livable wage. District and Regional managers are poorly picked, poorly groomed, and poorly trained leaving them as ineffectual, often times dismissive and petty leaders of field teams. Most do not belong in management, are insulting and condescending to store employees, and create environments lacking in open dialogue, honesty, or respect.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

You get what you pay for. You want a more profitable company? You have to pay for it. Your staff is over-worked, under-paid, under-trained, and completely demoralized. Extensive, corporate paid for training programs in EVERY store, for EVERY employee is severely needed to bring tenured employees up to date, round out the knowledge of newer associates, and maximize the passion and associate buy-in to the company and the product. STOP the email marketing insanity. It is KILLING the brand. We sound like we're going out of business. The emails are incredibly misleading so much so we often remark to ourselves in the stores how amazing it is that we haven't been sued for the emails. Our customers are smart. They know our product and our pricing. They aren't fooled by your tactics. They aren't fooled by your poor sale markdowns that you leave to languish on sales floors for a year. Customers who haven't left our fold do to the terrible practices of the last few years are about to abandon ship if we don't go back to our classic practices: Two sales every year, prices reduced each week till sold out in a months time. It works, but more importantly our customers expect it, they plan for it, and they respond to it. Fix the payroll situation. We are so understaffed that our stores are hotbeds for theft and poor service. Not because employees are negligent, but because there aren't enough employees in the store at any given time to properly run the store. INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY. Enough with slow, out-dated systems. Quit talking about ipads and new registers, do it already. We're losing customers' trust and patience the longer they have to wait - and trust me, we have so many system issues they're often waiting a while to complete simple transactions. Last, stop taking your staff for granted. We all feel dumped on perpetually by DM-level and above. It's YOUR job to change that, otherwise you're not running a business, you're running a very expensive training program for your competitors and vendors.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

Other reviews for Williams-Sonoma

  1.  

    Room for Improvement

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

    Pros

    Great discount. WS is a great brand.

    Cons

    Not much opportunity for growth if you are stuck at the store level. Managers don't seem to be trained in looking for talent that might make for good long term career paths. Pay is terrible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep an eye out for talented people that might want to grow with the co. Don't insult us by offering a .25 increase in pay. Look for ways to recognize your performers. Catch the Spirit Award is nebulous award - shouldn't it be performance based at least partially? District manager would not know who I am even though I have worked at this store for over 3 years! They don't care.

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

    Sad

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

    Pros

    Great product and dedicated associates.
    The best customer service model in the business.

    Cons

    Laura is not a replacement for Howard. She lacks the heart and passion for the brand she leads. She lacks the ethics and poise to be in her position.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get back to the core of what made WS best in class.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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