Williams-Sonoma

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

Williams-Sonoma Reviews

Updated December 9, 2014
Updated December 9, 2014
661 Reviews
2.8
661 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.  

    Great company to learn about customer service.

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

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

    Pros

    Company does good job polishing your CS skills. Customer base is ok. Employee discount is good.

    Cons

    Upward mobility is not based on KSA's. Pay was not competitive. Units sold per transaction was always focus so you better learn to add-on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on talent acquisition and stop hiring people just looking for the discount.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Sales Associate/ Home Stylist

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

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time

    Pros

    Fairly good pay (11/hr) for a retail store. Good incentives to keep sales associates motivated.

    Cons

    Technology is ancient.. old, slow, dial up internet. Embarrassing when placing an order for a client.

  3. 13 people found this helpful  

    Must update store equipment and technology! This is 2014, not 1995.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma

    Pros

    Love my co-workers, love my die-hard WS guests. The store is beautiful, it is a nice setting for an 8-hr day. The benefits are pretty good.

    Cons

    Before I started working at WS, my perception of the brand was high-end elegant goods, culinary expertise; a company with a neat history and lead by Chuck Williams, a traditional, hard-working and innovative trailblazer. Now that I work there, I am very disappointed that this is a facade. It feels like a letdown. The corporate culture is very shallow, almost like the popular kids in school who think they are awesome but don't understand why they're not getting A's (bc they are just not smart enough). They can't see that their ideas flop bc there is no reality behind it. It is embarrassing. The image of the company does not match the reality, and customers have picked up on that. (I've worked at other companies, namely Nordstrom and Tiffany, whose image matches their reality, and it is wonderful) I get confused or perturbed looks, even having to stand there and defend these ideas when I, too, am confused and let down. customers ask me if the store is shutting down, bc of the sale signs everywhere. To be honest, they are right. It does look like that. Now to the technology. Please update the computer system! What in the holy heck! Do you know how embarrassing it is when I'm searching the catalog and the whole thing freezes, obviously overwhelming whatever 1995 system is attempting to run. Clienteling is a joke. Increasing the entries (by the hundreds) to a database that is already choking on its own dust. We can't get on the Internet, so if I wanted to search a vendors website to see if they sell a particular attachment or replacement part for my customer, one of us has to whip out our phone. There are times when research needs to be done on their behalf, that's called going out of your way for them, which I want to do. I would love to get people set up into the Nespresso Club right when they buy the machine. It is downright embarrassing when the phone in my pocket is more useful than the WS in-store computer system. The registers are archaic and also need to be computerized. The receipt lookup system is clunky and inefficient, sometimes telling me "receipt not found" when I have the receipt IN MY HAND. Lets look at least SLIGHTLY competent. Please fix this. Stop fumbling, pull it together guys! Your customers are watching. Stop
    embarrassing me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My in-store managers do everything they can to navigate all these problems without going nuts. Corporate needs to study other companies and follow a new model. The trickle down effect is starting at the top of a very empty head.

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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Senior Vice President gave the job a 4 star review, "dream" of working her job!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate - Part Time Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Sales Associate - Part Time Manager in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    You get a 40% discount off only full price items. Sometimes they send the stores a basket of sweets if their sales are up for all employees to share if, there is a minute to take a break from the sales floor.

    Cons

    Slave drivers. No payroll for stores in any brand. Never enough people to help complete tasks let alone ring people. Frustrated customers because corporate does not get the merchandise to stores on a timely basis or, undamaged. No support from corporate. No respect for the extremely overworked employees who are pushed to sell and are not compensated in any way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First of all, a Senior Vice President should not write "great company for women" in her review. If there is really a "people first culture" store associates must not be considered people.
    Staff in all stores and brands work extremely hard and "smart". If you are "smart", try working one week, saturday to sunday in any store with staff (after you cut payroll mid-week) that knows how a store should be run.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Overall great experience

    • 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 part-time

    Pros

    Easy going job, high-end, great clientele, friendly atmosphere

    Cons

    Not enough hours, not enough business, expensive products

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 7 people found this helpful  

    Little support

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - ACM
    Current Employee - ACM

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

    Pros

    The company offers great benefits from insurance to retirement plans. Cross brand discounts are great at 40% off retail. Rewarding associates trough contests and recognition of tenure is a nice touch.

    Cons

    Leadership can develop great initiatives but have no concept of the working conditions at the retail level. Expecting 2 people to run a store ( FOH, BOH ) is insane. I have had the pleasure of working at more than one brand of WSI and have experienced more disconnect with this brand. Disappointed in the leadership of this company but thankful for the experience and growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider the back end of an initiative. How will it be accomplished while both challenging our teams but realistically able to be completed and supported?
    Stop creating new visual sets every 3 weeks, they can't be done at current payroll restrictions. Consider creating signage that doesn't change every new set but carries over. Stop wasting food on props and let's cross brand with props. Live branches cut and mailed to stores to use in vases, really!!!
    What a waste of money.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Demoralizing experience / highly political and micro managed

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

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

    Pros

    Customer service team is well intending and promising. High stress / expectation / micro-managed culture does breed good results. Design team is strong which means the product is strong which is central to the company's success.

    Cons

    CEO micro-manages so this floats down hill to all leaders which means everyone is performing at lower levels than they're likely capable of. Highly charged political environment of favoritism. Far too many meetings for meetings for meetings. Systems need an overhaul as do most large box retailers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Acknowledge and empower your middle management. They all have something to offer and can likely take on tasks you've reserved for VP's and above.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Too many contract positions

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

    I worked at Williams-Sonoma as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Products are great, some people are really nice, summer fridays

    Cons

    A LOT of the employees are contractors so there's not a lot of employee retention/loyalty, contractors are definitely treated lower than "real" employees though they do the same amount (if not more) work
    Office culture wasn't very motivating, a lot of office politics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be up front with your employees on the possibilities of temp-to-hire work.
    Stop playing favoritism and really look at people who actually work their butts off.

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    A supportive and rewarding environment!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Camp Hill, PA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Camp Hill, PA

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

    Pros

    The company values and professional growth are many fold. A very supportive environment and many opportunities to grow and be rewarded.

    Cons

    High stress situations at times however advice from supervisors was helpful. Having to grasp a lot of product knowledge every few weeks could be overwhelming.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Corporate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Part Time Sales Associate in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Part Time Sales Associate in Atlanta, GA

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

    Pros

    I loved my coworkers, I had no issues with the management team, and I completely adored my job! The discount on items was ok.

    Cons

    The upper management was WAY too corporate. They would rather spend money on the company jet and store visits than on incentives and whatnot. They also felt that the employees were expendable. I guess they actually were.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes it's ok to ask questions rather than just fire people. And some people would rather have a paycheck than a discount. Especially if the discount isn't THAT great.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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