Williams-Sonoma fined $3.18m for labeling foreign-made items "Made in USA"

Williams-Sonoma must pay a $3.18m fine for falsely labeling products as "Made in USA" when they were manufactured abroad, a penalty magnified by the fact that it's the second time it's been caught at it in recent years.

the FTC's new claims state the company has violated the order with multiple deceptive U.S.-origin claims in the years since — including on three products in July 2021, when it filed the compliance order.

One such claim, which the FTC says Williams-Sonoma made between April 2022 and August 2023, involved certain PBTeen mattress pads that were advertised as "crafted in America from domestic and imported materials." The federal body said in numerous instances, those products were actually "wholly imported" from China.

The FTC said this finding led them to discover six other products on the retailer's websites that were advertised as American-made despite either containing foreign components or being processed internationally. It states Williams-Sonoma couldn't demonstrate the validity of its own claims, and the retailer admitted to Reuters that the allegations made in the complaint were true.

I'm fascinated by Williams Sonoma being so committed to marketing products as American while sourcing them from China that it would get caught, get fined, and keep doing it. It's not even the obvious thing—what's a $3m fine to a company whose revenues top $8 billion a year?—but just the notion of a retailer seemingly impervious to negative PR. A customer base with the perfect marriage of discretionary income and brain smoothness, that wants to be told their Vebrille Prestige Piece of Shit is made in America but not to care whether it really is.

P.S. Pyrex (or whatever financial tesseract currently wears that name) was also at it.

Previously: Hater`s guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalogue