Williams-Sonoma

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

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated November 25, 2014
Updated November 25, 2014
656 Reviews
2.8
656 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
283 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    A happy new hire

    Current Employee - District Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - District Manager in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    I have been with the Pottery Barn Kids brand for 8 months now. I was at another retailer for many years. What I have found most refreshing here is that I I feel appreciated and recognized for my hard work and results. Top management stays close to the Associates in the field and stay connected and engaged. Successful companies are those where top managers never allow themselves to get removed from the customer. They truly care about the people that work here. They care tremendously! I love the people in every WSI brand. If you want to be a part of a team with mutual respect and trust, this is the place! It is proven that the number 1 reason people leave their job is they don't feel appreciated. I am motivated to work hard and deliver strong results and contribute to the overall success because I feel that I matter and feel supported.

    Cons

    It's a lot of hard work but because the people are amazing and I have the best boss ever!!! It doesn't seem like work at all!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    District Manager that has been with WSI for more than 5 years.

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

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

    Pros

    The company truly supports internal succession and career advancement. If you are ready to take that next step they will find the right spot for you, even with another brand within the organization, as I have experienced first hand. Stores are given the freedom to think on their feet and make the right decision for the guest. The overall atmosphere is very entrepreneurial and you feel very empowered by the leadership team. This has kept me engaged and excited in the fact that I can help steer the company in a new direction!

    Cons

    We run complex stores and sometimes the list of To-Do's and the companies expectation can overburdon our team. The trick is to work through your people, not doing it all yourself, and everything will fall into place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please continue to listen to and invest in the field team and stores. Over the past few years the changes we have all implemented together, corporate and field, has built the confidence of our associates and given them the tools to hit their goals.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    very good company to work for.

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Benefits good, you are like your own supervisor, people are friendly and you choose your own schedule

    Cons

    your a number not a name, strict attendance rules however understandable,

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Very cool workplace, in the heart of the city, great supervisors

    Cons

    Limiting corporate structure, not a lot of fun to be had

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    The people are great, the pay is ok, the benefits are great. The IT department however is cumbersome to work in.

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits, people, discount, sample sale

    Cons

    IT Department supports production and Projects, and the focus is on production because this is a retail company. The project work is shoddy, and there is not much of a level of satisfaction, as the scope changes rapidly, and projects often do not complete in time due to resource issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 6 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
  8. 5 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
  9.  

    Good merchandise; easy to sell

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Friendly associates; high quality products.

    Cons

    No benefits for part-time employees. Low tech computers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person 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
  11.  

    Do everything by yourself and expect nothing new

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Nice location and good exposure to retail

    Cons

    There were less politics before but as the company is growing we see more politics and less work

Work at Williams-Sonoma? Share Your Experiences

Williams-Sonoma

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.