Williams-Sonoma
2.9 of 5 572 reviews
www.williams-sonomainc.com San Francisco, CA 5000+ Employees

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 572 reviews

                             

43% Approve of the CEO

Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber

Laura J. Alber

(231 ratings)

44% of employees recommend this company to a friend
572 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Great discount for to enable everyone to spend their salary in store"
    in 80 reviews
  • "Best Reason to work here is the employee discount and the Sample Sales"
    in 48 reviews
Cons:
  • "There is truly no work/life balance here - despite what they say"
    in 22 reviews
  • "Disconnect between reality in the stores and what upper management thinks/dreams"
    in 32 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    Don't do it!!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsProduct, discount and people. Enjoyed trying all the delicious sauces and foods made some great friends!

    ConsNo work life balance, payroll constantly being cut some DMs had little pets who could do no wrong. Hr did not stick up for people who told the truth.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive better training . work in the field with the managers. work nights weekends and holidays like the field employees do. Don't keep backstabbers and brown nosers working for company

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Worst corporate, district and regional management I have ever seen....

    Sales Associate (Current Employee)
    South Portland, ME

    ProsThe discount is great, especially because you can use it across all brands. I know I have stayed on simply for this reason alone and nothing else.

    ConsNo work / life balance! Corporate started rolling out unrealistic expectations for the staff causing us to lose our management team and our tenured staff. Now we have a clueless, young GM who whines and complains about everything and sits in her office all day. Not an enjoyable work place environment for such little pay!

    Advice to Senior ManagementLook at your turnover rate of tenured staff, especially management! They are leaving for a reason and no exit interviews are ever conducted. Is that because you don't care?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    When do I get to sell to my guests?

    Anonymous (Current Employee)

    ProsI love my store, it feels like my second home. I get to play with quality product, cookware, electrics, etc. My customers respect my knowledge and all of my coworkers are intelligent, considerate. I feel valued by my manager and my DM. I get to cook and run Culinary, which is a thrill!

    ConsWhen do I get to sell to my guests? On 200 hours, it is one manager and one associate all throughout the day. I am running like a chicken trying to do floor set, webinars, conference calls, cleaning, clienteling (more on that in a sec) fielding literally dozens of corporate emails a day. My associate is trying to unpack Shipment, replenish and put out samples. All the while, petrified that a Secret Shopper is going to come in and spot us scurrying around! Easily 75% of my day is spent responding to or participating in corporate detail that leaves me feeling tied to a ball and chain. 200 hours for payroll is NOT ENOUGH to run the business! You are hearing this from many stores because it is true. We are struggling. Sales numbers will sink, that's a reality when we are tied up on all of these tasks with no team on the floor. It is very frustrating when we get a flood of emails (both on our outlook email PLUS StoreMail!) with immediate, large-scale changes to projects we were already struggling with. The computer system and POS systems are ancient and freeze/crash constantly. I have to call store support almost daily. So frustrating when our equipment cannot handle the workload. Please give us tools for success! Many of us are working on our own time, verboten, yet necessary to meet the demands, because we cherish our store and desperately want to succeed. Exempt managers are working 60+ hours a week and still feel behind the 8-ball. Are we on the Titanic? It feels like it. We can field calls, webinars, emails on levers, drivers, channels, and promos all day, but unless we have actual time to dedicate to SELLING, it's all just one big moot point. Doesn't anyone out there see the irony in this??

    Advice to Senior ManagementEnough with clienteling. The SWW system is ancient and freezes up. I am tied to my computer emailing and calling people who MIGHT come in to the store in the future, versus actively engaging with my guests that are actually in the store at that moment. I have gotten so many complaints because people say please, take me off your list! Very embarrassing, but we must meet our weekly quota. It comes across as desperate and the guests can smell that a mile away. They are already receiving multiple EDMs from corporate a day, and frankly do not want to be pestered by their local store associate...puts us in an awkward position of responding to them feeling imposed upon. Also, too many promotions! Last week, we had 32 active promotions. How are we, or our customers, supposed to remember all of these efficiently? It's lowering the value of the brand, when everything at some point or another is on promo. Customers are getting confused and think we are pulling a fast one when they come in to store from an EDM and the promo has already ended. The savvy customer is being trained to watch for sales and therefore limit their purchases to a future date at a lower price. Not good. Please reconsider demos and food...(and I LOVE Culinary) but it is a slap in the face to spend $200 a week on free samples when we don't have enough payroll for even one more 4-hour shift in the day. No matter how frugal we are, the food cost (and displays, with all real food and flowers that have to be changed out frequently) is astronomical. Put the money in your team instead for right now, till we get back on track. Scale back on the grass-fed beef expectations and be a bit realistic about this.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Disorganized, profit oriented.

    Associate (Current Employee)
    Las Vegas, NV

    ProsAssociates get good discount, even on most sale items. Most associates and some of the managers were nice to work with.

    ConsInconsistent schedule. Poor distribution of hours to associates - favorites get more hours. Lower pay in comparison to other retailers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTreat associates decently and fairly. Invest time training associates instead of constantly having to hire to replace those who left out of frustration.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Good place to work part time

    Casual Associate (Current Employee)

    ProsFlexible scheduling, although now you are required to work three days a week
    Excellent discount across all company brands
    Learn a lot about the products and cooking
    Great team at the store makes it a fun place to work

    ConsNew leadership is changing the policies of what made this brand so great for consumers.
    Having on-call shifts every week and only being able to call one hour before shift makes it difficult to schedule other jobs.
    Long hours during holidays and little training of seasonal workers makes job difficult, as well as payroll cuts that leave you without enough people working critical days.
    Can be difficult to deal with rude customers, especially for the pay.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop cutting the hours, especially in the stock room We have not had a full time stock person for 5+ years and it shows. We cannot unpack boxes, stock and keep the back clean without dedicated staff.
    Change the on-call policy--having to wait till one hour before shift is ridiculous and is a time waster for many of us, keeping us from other jobs.
    Create a better tool for communication with casual people, especially emailing our schedules during the holidays.
    Bring back the contests where we actually win something!
    Eroding the corporate culture from 10 years ago--where we were there for the customer--is going to lose us customers. Already they are going to Macy's, Costco and other brands rather than Williams-Sonoma, because we aren't offering to be there for them. People go to Nordstrom's and Williams-Sonoma and pay higher prices because of how we care for them.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great work life balance culture

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsWilliams-Sonoma is very understanding about their workers having family and encourages to balance those aspects. Peers and co-workers are all very supportive and take pride in the work we do which makes it a good place to work. They accommodate (do not prefer) remote working conditions which can help with the work life balance aspect of things.

    ConsStill very corporate which makes project completion a bit hectic at times since there are a lot of departments to go through to get consensus. Need to be able to adjust to project changing in the last minute which can make things more stressful

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    It Was Fun Working At The Call Center!

    Furniture Specialist (Former Employee)
    Las Vegas, NV

    ProsThe Pros of working at Williams-Sonoma were great employees , everyone had a welcoming type of feel! The managers really try and help you succeed & there is always room from advancement! They are always giving away free things & having raffles to keep all the employee's engaged! PLUS there is ALOT of overtime available especially around the holidays & summertime!

    ConsThe pay could be better ;

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great products, difficult to advance

    Retail Associate (Former Employee)
    The Woodlands, TX

    ProsThe company offers casual associates the ability to determine what days they want to work. Great employee discount and great products. People want to shop at WS so customers are generally great to deal with.

    ConsReally difficult to move up. Movement seems to be highly based on who you know not what you know. Policies are generally inconsistently enforced. Hours can be extremely unpredictable and go from excessive to nothing between December and March.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay attention to the big picture when it comes to resources given to the store to conduct business.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Exhausting

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsOutstanding coworkers. Knowledgable and interesting.

    ConsWhere do I start? Thankless amount of work to be done. Bare-bones staffing. Turning in to a high pressure sales environment but with no extra training or staffing hours.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great discount, management varies from store to store

    Keyholder/Sales Associate (Former Employee)

    ProsAmazing discount, samples and usually a flexible schedule

    ConsAccountable for specific sales goals with no consideration on time scheduled (ie - being responsible for the same sales number when closing and having an hour of your shift closed as an associate who is working in the afternoon)

    Management varies from store to store, sometimes they don't even like to cook! Schedules can be very random and the use of on-call shifts is difficult to manage.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDevelop leaders! There is no career path outlined for the company, so you end up hiring from outside and end up with many inconsistencies.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Williams-Sonoma reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Williams-Sonoma CEO Laura J. Alber. All 572 reviews posted anonymously by Williams-Sonoma employees.