I happen to have friends who work there and I just can't believe myself how cheap they are. They deserve to lose their excellent sales people. I do believe they work on some kind of pay scale and if it's very low in one area then I would expect it is low all over. My friend just about manages the store and is extremely underpaid. When she told me what she was making I told her to march right in and ask for a raise. She did and now she is out looking for another job.
My experience as a customer of WSM divisions has always found the staff to be very bright, helpful and courteous. If they are poorly paid that IS unfair! However, it makes me wonder how they maintain such a high level of staff quality if they do pay so poorly. When I go to similar retailers (admittedly not in exactly the same line as WSM) such as a BB&B location, I can immediately tell the difference in quality dropoff in the personnel who I ask for assistance.
I guess as Margarita man says, if they can keep good employees while paying them poorly then it has to be good for the company's bottom line. I would think that perhaps the compensation is not quite that bad, since realistically they could not keep their high level of staff quality otherwise.
The fact is, WSM is an excellent company to work for. I recall reading a list of the top ten companies in America to work for, a few years ago and WSM was fifth or sixth. Entry level compensation for both full and part time employees is on par with most of the industry....but...if you are motivated and productive, the system is geared for advancement. YOU set your goals.....They give you the opportunity to reach them. I know I'm sounding like a shill for WSM's Human Resources...but, I happen to have someone close to me who is an employee.....and who LOVES working at WSM. Loves it so much, I get to hear all about All-Clad, Foods of the World, Pumpkin and Maple stuff....and on and on and on......:-) Thank GOD! for the Margarita Mix's!!!!!!
Most companies, before locating in an area, make a study of the prevailing wage scale, and set their own wages accordingly. One of the many reasdons a company may choose to locate in an area is because wages there are low, and they can get in cheap. Trouble is, all those people on low wages are also potential customers, and WSM does not sell to the low-end market.