Williams-Sonoma - Frustrating dealing with retail management. | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Williams-Sonoma

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"Frustrating dealing with retail management."

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Associate
Former Employee - Associate
Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

Pros

The discount. Nice inventory. Employees that are NOT management. The DISCOUNT!

Cons

Dealing with (mostly) uneducated management who are paranoid of their manager... that is their entire motive, getting caught at a bad moment... Letting 1 mystery shopper a month determine how the store is doing - totally not justified.
LOW hourly pay!
Totally inadequate computer system, in the dark ages.
Making employees now compete amongst themselves, it's obvious to customers - sounds like a cheap store approach!

Advice to Management

Get real and it's OK to thank an associate. ALL the managers worry about is a visit from corporate and the district manager arriving... Upgrade your computer system.

Other Employee Reviews for Williams-Sonoma

  1. Helpful (1)

    "No longer the same company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    We have wonderful customers who literally thank us for providing them with outstanding shopping experiences. We offer excellent products, guidance and education to the customers that shop our stores. Those of us that have been with the company for several years, who are working the floor helping customers, love our jobs and the "people first" focus that allows us to serve those that shop with us.

    Cons

    The direction of the company has changed a lot in the last year. It is unclear what corporate values or where they want to take the company. It appears that they are more interested in the latest gimmick or trend than long term customer satisfaction. I tire of running out of everyday products and having to tell the customer that we will have it in a month. While asking more of every store and individual that works they are giving less. There are more tasks, conference calls, quizzes, product demonstrations and workshops, required metrics to be attained and a handicapped clientele system which is supposed to be used by everyone in the store every time they work. At the same time they have cut back on payroll. While I like that the new mystery shop values product knowledge I wonder about the value of the credit card, especially when I see associates solicit applications from customers who have previously been declined.

    Advice to Management

    Back off of some of the change.
    If you want to be "laser focused" on your customers then let your associates work with them. Don't cut payroll so much that customers complain that they can't get any help. Don't put the store in a position that we would prefer a customer to call corporate and complain about lack of associates to serve them in hopes that our DM and corporate will finally get the message.
    Try to do a better job of dividing out products so all stores can increase sales instead of having to send them away or completing their sale on the internet (which takes a lot of time and is rarely appreciated by a customer).
    The best district managers motivate their workers to do more by trying to help out not just criticizing. I would suggest that if you want people in the store to work harder and longer for less then thank them for it or get out there and help. Don't just boss people around to prepare for a corporate visit or say, "figure it out" when we have too many tasks and not enough bodies.
    To reduce costs you have cut back on the W-S catalog distribution. If you are motivated by "green" agendas and $ you should provide a digital version on the web or even as an app. This would allow those who have been dropped from the mailing list, who are customers who had always shopped the catalog and then come to the store to make their purchases, to see what the current product focus is and they will be interested in the "features" not just what they find as they browse our extensive, but overwhelming on-line selection.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Customer service and culture deteriorating"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Casual Associate
    Current Employee - Casual Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Discount- working with others with the same interests- sharing cooking experience with customers

    Cons

    Schedules are sometimes slow to come out with usually only two weeks at a time posted.
    On-call shifts are disruptive, can't make any plans but usually you are not called in. 1 or more on- call shifts per week are common.
    Can't check your schedule online and schedule will change at a moments notice if they have to cut payroll to meet budget. Sometimes that is the morning of a scheduled shift.
    When payroll is cut there are not enough employees to adequately cover the floor so customer service suffers. and employees are stressed.
    Managers always seem stressed about their workload, directives and goals.
    Not having items in stock is always an issue especially for technique classes.
    They cut the discount on electrics in half.
    Repeat customers are annoyed with constantly being asked for their email address when checking out.
    Despite all of those cons working at Williams-Sonoma was bearable and even fun until they started tracking employee sales. Because they can only enter one employee number at the register if a customer was helped by more than one employee in the store the employee with the largest portion of the sale gets credit for everything. Then one of the Assistant Managers will come around with the print out of employee sales and tell you you are not performing as well as you should. They have created an unfair commission based environment without the commissions and it is definitely causing stress among employees and good sales people have left as a result of it.
    There used to be a team environment and now it is a "me" environment.
    I was told that the Chuck Williams focus on customer service no longer applies. It is just sales. Just sell the customer something.

    Advice to Management

    If you are going to track employee sales, figure out a way to do it fairly. Support your stores with adequate stock and employees. Take less compensation at the top and put it into the stores.
    That will make you successful.


There are newer employer reviews for Williams-Sonoma
There are newer employer reviews for Williams-Sonoma

See Most Recent

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