Williams-Sonoma

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

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated December 19, 2014
Updated December 19, 2014
662 Reviews
2.8
662 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Williams-Sonoma President, CEO and Director Laura J. Alber
Laura J. Alber
286 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. 7 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
  2. 4 people 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
  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    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

  6.  

    It was decent.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Some opportunity for advancement. If you do what you are asked to do, you have good job security.

    Cons

    The higher ups do not really care about what the associates do, or give you any leeway. You must complete the task, or be replaced.

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Supply Chain Network Analyst

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Supply Chain Network Analyst in Memphis, TN
    Former Employee - Supply Chain Network Analyst in Memphis, TN

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

    Pros

    Very good industry (supply chain) and position to be at - with much growth (domestically and internationally). Lots of chances to make a presence and create/leave a mark of your own. Overall is a great company but if you can get past the Cons, it may not be a bad idea.

    Cons

    Managers is very very bad, particularly the supply chain network expansion. It is a culture of the slaves (talk/ask/must do what ever they want). And that particular team is very non-team oriented. There are lots of opportunity for growth but why have a good opportunity for the type of work and work miserable? Is a question that only you can answer but I personally would not recommend it. Leadership is very much always in a discussion/fight (transportation and supply chain/network dept) - they do not like each other.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quite frankly - I would advise to find something that makes them happy and not make others life miserable , b/c at the moment it is obvious they are not well aligned for success. Be more open minded and not bring back the slavery (that was a thing of the past, let it go and treat people fairly). These are particular folks, not everyone so pay close attention when interviewing and ask lots of questions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Nice people, work/life balance, leadership varies

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

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

    Pros

    Low politics between teams who focus on getting the work done, big company feel where there's good work/ life balance, great discount across suite of brands (includes Pottery Barn and West Elm)

    Cons

    Some units at leadership level are increasingly political, micromanagement of finances, cheap (no funds for trainings, celebrations), below market salaries and/or abyssmal bonuses, teams foster relationships amongst themselves but leadership doesn't have a people-focus to decision making

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great brand but could always be better!

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

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

    Pros

    Great discount in multiple brands (Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn and West Elm), opportunities for advancement as long as you are very patient, beautiful location of corporate office, amazing product and amazing employees who share a passion for the product. Strong heritage and 99 year old founder still visits the building from time to time. Love the WS mission to "bring people together around food".

    Cons

    CEO micromanages from the top which comes off as lacking trust in associates from top to bottom, improvement to broken processes is slow at best, low base salaries compared to similar companies in the Bay Area and annual raises that can't even keep up with inflation. Work/life balance is often unbalanced especially during the holiday seasons.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    130% bonuses to execs and 2% raises to low level associates won't allow you to build and MAINTAIN the best possible teams in Retail. Associates (the worker-bees) need more recognition for hard work than a "catch the spirit" plaque and a $100 gift card.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    From Employee To Foodie

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Williams-Sonoma is the mecca when it comes to food and it does so diligently by training their staff on the how-to's. I learned so much from being there, cultivating my passion for food and what to have and what not to do.

    Food bridges the gap to communication and in turn brings forever lasting friendship.

    There is so much to learn and everything is life appropriate.

    Getting to yes is their policy and it's something unique that many companies do not do.

    Cons

    It's difficult to grow in the saturated retail world. Always look for corporate or office job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There has been great and relentless members in management. All I'll say is to "always park ones ego at the door" and never bring it to work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great product and benefits, direction of company sometimes off track

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great discount, 40% off at all brands
    Great co-workers at my store
    Great benefits when I was a full-time employee
    A good part-time job during the holidays, or year-round if your store has the hours.

    Cons

    At the end, company strategy had changed, seemed to shift to a bigger focus on metrics and gathering emails and a smaller focus on providing an amazing customer experience, which is one of the things I loved about the company in the beginning. Also, unrealistic demands on store staff as far as how much could be done in the time budgeted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember to focus on the customers first, one of our unique features is a store staff that has stories to share and good advice to give, as well as creating a great environment. Pushing credit cards and email capture in this luxury environment is not welcoming to customers.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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