Williams-Sonoma Slapped With $3M Fine

Williams-Sonoma Storefront
Williams-Sonoma Storefront | Image by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Williams Sonoma

High-end kitchen retailer Williams-Sonoma has been ordered to pay over $3 million in fines for falsely claiming some of its products were American-made despite being produced in China.

Willaims-Sonoma, Inc., which owns Williams-Sonoma Home, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Teen, PBTeen, West Elm, and Rejuvenation, must pay roughly $3.17 million for violating a 2020 order that mandated the company provide truthful details about its product origins. That order emerged from an older lawsuit against the company, which resulted in Williams-Sonoma paying a $1 million fine.

False claims about the country of origin of Williams-Sonoma’s products have been seen as far back as 2018. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) closed an initial investigation after the issue was deemed an isolated incident.

In 2019, however, TruthInAdvertising.org (TINA.org) discovered over 800 products the retailer claimed were “Made in USA” but were imported or produced using imported materials, including items listed on PBTeen.com.

The latest incident was uncovered in March of 2024 after a consumer alerted TINA.org about a mattress pad sold by Pottery Barn Teen that claimed to be “Crafted in America from domestic and imported materials.” Despite explicitly wanting to avoid a mattress pad made in China, the consumer says when the product arrived, it was labeled “Made in China.” The allegation was then verified by TINA.org, which alerted the FTC.

“In a complaint filed by the Department of Justice upon notification and referral from the FTC, the agency charges that Williams-Sonoma listed multiple products for sale as being ‘Made in USA’ when in fact they were made in China and other countries. The company has agreed to a settlement that requires them to pay the civil penalty, which is the largest ever in a Made in USA case,” read the April 26 statement from the FTC regarding the latest penalty against the retailer.

According to TINA.org, Williams-Sonoma removed the inaccurate “Crafted in America” claim on affected products within hours of receiving the complaint letter.

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