Ever since Williams-Sonoma opened it’s doors at MacArthur Mall in Norfolk, I have made an effort to shop there. I love the selection, quality and lastingness of the products at the W-S stores. Sadly, my dollars have all to often left with me instead of finding a spot in the cash register at this particular W-S location.
The products draw me in, the staff repels me, time after time. There is one sales person who manages to taint the experience almost every time I visit the store. The first time I went into the W-S, I was in search of a food processor. When I shop, I generally know what I want and have simply arrived to procure that item. It was one very similar to this model:
Priced around $300.00. This is a big-ticket kitchen accessory. There was one sales person in evidence and after about 10 minutes of standing around awaiting service, or even eye-contact, it became apparent that her wide-eyed flirtation with another customer was the only thing happening in the sales department. Eventually I approached and said, “Pardon me?”
She fixed me with a killing stare and said, “I’m helping this customer now. You wait until I’m finished.” Her tone was chilling.
Now, I am not known to be fainthearted and so I waited another 5 minutes or so in hopes that she would eventually sell something, a fork or herself, to this gentleman. When I left the store, exasperated, after waiting and milling about for almost 20 minutes, she was still batting her thin, blonde lashes at the other ‘customer.’ He still had not made a purchase. I have no idea where the other employees were. On break?
It took me a while to get over it and decide to give the W-S store another try. It was Christmas and my kids love cooking. W-S has some nice, kid-friendly, cooking gear. I found a different sales person and made my purchase, along with some Colonna brand olive oil which tastes good and makes my Dad happy because our surname is Colonna.
On every subsequent trip to the Norfolk W-S, I have had to deal with this same sales woman. She is horrible. A veritable troll. I suspect that she is now a manager. How? How can someone so completely unsuited for customer service become a manager in an upscale gourmet store? I just don’t get it. When I asked if I could purchase a new blade for my apple peeler-corer-slicer, she rolled her eyes and did not respond. She blatantly belittled my choice of cookware when I wanted to purchase a smaller, copper cookware set rather than a larger, stainless cookware set. Did the prospect of future sales of other copper pieces evade her? Maybe she just doesn’t like the way I look? In the end my feeling is that my money is better spent elsewhere and I have made my purchases accordingly. I have even driven to Williamsburg to buy things at a W-S location with a staff composed of competent, helpful people.
I cannot recommend that anyone frequent the Norfolk, VA location of Williams-Sonoma based on my own experiences with this one, awful, short, blonde, middle-aged woman. Try the Virginia Beach or Williamsburg stores. Shop online. Find another cookware vendor like The Kitchen Barn at Hilltop. Customer service is an important and valuable asset. One which the W-S at MacArthur Mall does not possess.