There are newer employer reviews for Williams-Sonoma

3 people found this helpful  

Dumbing down of Williams-Sonoma

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Casual Associate in Cambridge, MA (US)
Current Employee - Casual Associate in Cambridge, MA (US)

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

Pros

-Hired when the associates were bright, fun, hardworking, and informed about product.
-40% is a good discount but as an associate, there are no benefits and the hourly is not competitive

Cons

-Product is getting stale and dated while prices going up too much without increased quality to customer.
-Customer service taking a huge nose-dive due in large part to all of the corporate directives
-Cutting hours, hiring inexperienced staff with no particular interest in kitchen stuff and given no training, useless "secret shopper"
-Slow and still antiquated computer systems
-Sloppy new dress code - what kind of first impression does an associate make who is dressed in sloppy jeans and a motley shirt. Let's go back to a classic look or moniter the dress of your staff better.
-Weekly scheduling is done last minute and hours are sporadic.
-Rarely promote from within at the store level
-Tracking individual sales does not promote team approach to selling
-Hawking for email, zip code, VISA etc.is annoying
-Too much favoritism and small-time power play that goes with many retail businesses

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Go back to what Chuck thought was important - sell a great product, put your people first, and give great customer service. All else follows.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO

632 Other Employee Reviews for Williams-Sonoma (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Just when you think it can't get worse.....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate

    I have been working at Williams-Sonoma part-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people--some of the best in this type of retail business
    Good products

    Cons

    Aggressively clueless upper management.
    Pressure to perform as a top tier comissioned sales person with no commission or incentive and a limited set of business tools (only notepads/paper, cryptic computer system).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Refocus on core business concepts like service and employee satisfaction. Bad financial deals on the new WS credit card have skewed priorities--$25 is not an incentive for a high end customer to sign up for a new credit card. Make it meaningful or don't do it--a transaction discount at the time of purchase would help. The holiday business has literally been "blown up" by pulling all payroll from stores. Sales numbers were down, but the decision to underserve customers at a critical time of year is reckless. Multple customers walked out in anger over the very busy weekend--years of building business and customer loyalty can be lost in a single season. Every season, WS becomes less special--the customers can get this stuff elsewhere. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can run a sophisticated clientelle-based business without any business intelligence tools--it's 2012. (And associates are not paid or treated well like the Nordstrom employees this approach is taken from.) Don't think that associates who build a strong clientelle (despite the limitaions) won't take their talents elsewhere when they wake up to the reality that they could make a living wage elsewhere. The knee jerk reactions in payroll management, discount/markdown strategy, are amateurish and inexcusable for a retailer with a pedigree like WS. I can only hope the board takes a hard look at leadership when the stock crashes post holiday (and it will--big time). They may realize that a good furniture buyer, who was in the right place at the right time may not have the fortitude, conviction (and love) to run a large organization with the values that built the Williams Sonoma brand. The hard decisions that demonstrate "people first" have not been made--she has not walked the walk of Howard or Chuck (or Gary!)--very sad.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    High expectations

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Louisville, CO (US)
    Former Employee - Associate in Louisville, CO (US)

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

    Pros

    Great discount, potentially fun environment (depends on managers/staff)

    Cons

    Low pay, vast degree of product knowledge required, high-pressure to upsell

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    urge your managers to treat employees respectfully, allow them to do their job without breathing down their necks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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