Category Archives: Williams-Sonoma Inc

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. – Key Facts

Head Office

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. 3250 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco California 94109 USA

Phone

1 415 421 7900

Fax

1 415 616 8359

Web Address

http://www.williams-sonomainc.com

Revenue / turnover (USD Mn)

3,944.9

Financial Year End

January

Employees

8,300

New York Ticker

WSM

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. – Business Description

Williams-Sonoma is a US-based multi-channel retailer of lifestyle products that focuses on home furnishing and accessories. The company offers home products ranging from culinary, serving equipment such as cookware, cookbooks, cutlery, informal dinnerware, glassware, table linens, specialty foods, cooking ingredients to home furnishings. Williams-Sonoma markets these products through retail stores, catalogs and through the Internet.

Williams-Sonoma procures its merchandise from foreign and domestic manufacturers and importers. The company purchases its products from foreign manufactures located in about 43 countries, located primarily in Asia and Europe. The company operates through two segments: retail and direct-to-customer (DTC).
The retail segment has five merchandising concepts (Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm, sand Williams-Sonoma Home). As of January 2008, the company operated 600 retail stores in 44 US states, Washington DC and Canada.This includes 256 Williams-Sonoma, 198 Pottery Barn, 94 Pottery Barn Kids, 27 West Elm, nine Williams-Sonoma Home and 16 outlet stores. The outlet stores carry merchandise from all concepts except PBteen.

The DTC segment comprises the catalog and online operations of Williams Sonoma.This segment sells similar products as sold in the company’s retail stores through direct mail catalogs and online web portals. This segment also sells products which are not available at the company’s stores. The company’s six merchandising concepts, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma Home offer their products through the DTC channel.

Williams-Sonoma is the company’s flagship brand. The retail outlets of this brand focus on kitchen-related cookware and other products. These stores average 6,000 square-feet in size and offer cooking tool and appliance including pots, pans, cookware, knives, storage containers and small electrical appliances.Williams-Sonoma stores also carry an assortment of table linens, flatware and glassware. These stores also offer private label products including various ingredients like oils and sauces.

These stores also feature concepts ‘eat-in kitchen’ or ‘wet bar’. Williams-Sonoma also operates through direct channels such as catalogs and through the online web portal ‘Williams-Sonoma.com’.The company distributes about 50 million Williams-Sonoma catalogs annually throughout the US. These catalogs are augmented with Williams-Sonoma-branded cookbooks. Williams-Sonoma also hosts bookings and guest-appearances of local and nationally recognized cooks and chefs to add on to customer appeal and traffic. The online website of Williams-Sonoma offers unique features such as real-time inventory status, online bridal registry, and over 1500 recipes and tips.

Pottery Barn is a retailer and DTC merchandiser in the casual home furnishings and table accessories markets. The company operates over 190 Pottery Barn stores and distributes over 150 million catalogs annually.These stores average 12,000 square-feet in size. Pottery Barn stores sell oversized, stuffed chairs, candles, mirrors, frames, pillows, blankets, rugs and window treatments. Large stores also recreate different rooms within the house such as family room, living room or bedroom demonstrating how its products mesh with one another. In addition, Pottery Barn operates online through the web portal potterybarn.com. This website gives customers the flexibility to shop by different product categories or by room. Customers can also avail design tips and ideas online. Pottery Barn Kids is an extension of the Pottery Barn concept.
Pottery Barn Kids is a retailer of children’s furnishing and accessories. Pottery Barn Kids operates over 90 retail stores in the US and Canada and distributes over 75 million catalogs annually. These stores occupy approximately 8,000 square-feet of floor space. These stores include play sets, such as tiki bar with a table in the shape of a surfboard, to engage kids while parents shop. Pottery Barn Kids also offer the option of product customization. Customers can also shop products of this brand through the online website potterybarnkids.com. This website provides the flexibility of shopping by age, gender or room. In addition, customers can also track orders, browse for gift ideas and create and manage a gift registry online.
PBteen is an extension of the Pottery Barn and the teen version of Pottery Barn Kids. Williams-Sonoma markets the products of this brand through direct to customer channels only including catalogs and online website. PBteen offers furniture, rugs, lighting, bedding and accessories designed to furnish bedrooms, lounge and study spaces for teens. The furniture ranges from basic designs to youth-oriented themes such as surfboard-shaped tables and bookshelves. PBteen’s web portal ‘pbteen.com’ allow customers to shop by product category, room type, price, gender and occasion. This site also showcases a special section named ‘Style House’. This section gives demonstration on products, free downloads and decorating tips.
The brand ‘West Elm’ offers simple and modern merchandise at affordable prices.West Elm operates over 20 retail outlets. These stores average 16,000 square-feet in size. West Elm offers furniture such as tables, chairs, couches and bookshelves, as well as home furnishing accessories such as pillows, vases, bowls, blankets, candles and rugs.
Williams-Sonoma Home focuses on formal furniture and home decor products. Williams-Sonoma Home is the high end brand of the company that caters to middle and upper income consumers. The company has furniture available for custom ordering that can be delivered within 45 days. Williams-Sonoma Home’s product offering includes custom upholstered sofas, chairs, and tables, along with linens for bed and bath. Williams-Sonoma Home stores also offer certain retail only products across all categories, in addition to merchandise offered in catalogs. Retail only products include 100 upholstery fabrics for 30 furniture styles.
The segment also sells products through its seven direct-mail catalogs (Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Bed and Bath, PBteen, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma Home) and six e-commerce websites (williams-sonoma.com, potterybarn.com, potterybarnkids.com, pbteen.com, westelm.com and wshome.com).

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. – History

Charles E. Williams established the first Williams-Sonoma store in Sonoma, California in 1956. The company began its direct-to-customer (DTC) business in 1972 by launching its flagship catalog, ’A Catalog for Cooks,’ which was marketed under Williams-Sonoma brand. The company acquired Gardeners Eden, a mail-order merchandiser of home gardening and related products, in 1982. A year later, the company purchased the rights of the catalog, Hold Everything, to offer household storage products. Williams-Sonoma became a public company in 1983. The first Hold Everything retail store opened in 1985.
Williams-Sonoma acquired Pottery Barn, a retailer of casual home furnishings, in 1986, from The Gap. In 1987, the company launched the first Pottery Barn catalog.The company launched Chambers, a mail-order merchandiser of high quality linens, towels, robes, soaps and accessories for the bed and bath, in 1989. Williams-Sonoma purchased California Closets, an operator of franchises who design and build custom closets, in 1990. Four years later, the company sold California Closets to a management and investor group.

The company sold its Gardeners Eden catalog business to retailer, Brookstone, in 1999.Williams-Sonoma then launched a special Pottery Barn catalog featuring linens and furniture for children and began selling merchandise online through its wswedding.com bridal registry website and through williams-sonoma.com.
The first Pottery Barns Kids store was opened in 2000, and its website followed a year after. In 2001, the company established five new retail stores including two Williams-Sonoma, two Pottery Barn, and one Pottery Barn Kids in Toronto, Canada. These stores marked the company’s expansion outside the US. In 2001, Williams-Sonoma launched its Pottery Barn online gift and bridal registry and Pottery Barn Kids online gift registry. The company launched its West Elm catalog in 2002 offering a broad range of home furnishing categories, including furniture, textiles, decorative accessories, lighting and tabletop items.
In 2002, Williams-Sonoma launched its West Elm e-commerce website and opened its first West Elm retail. In the same year, the company introduced the newest extension to its Pottery Barn brand, PBteen catalog.

PBteen offers exclusive collections of home furnishings and decorative accessories, specifically designed for the teenage market. In 2002, the company also launched PBteen e-commerce website. In 2004, the Chambers catalog was discontinued and was replaced with ‘Williams-Sonoma Home’. This catalog featured upholstered-furniture collection, in addition to linens, furniture and accessories.The first Williams-Sonoma Home retail store was opened in West Hollywood, California in 2005.
Williams-Sonoma closed all its Hold Everything retail stores and e-commerce website in early 2006. It also discontinued circulating Hold Everything catalogs during the same period. The company launched www.wshome.com, an online catalog for Williams- Sonoma Home brand, in 2006.

The virtual catalog featured custom-upholstered furniture, lighting, tableware, bedding and decorative accessories. In 2006, the company opened 18 net new stores including the expansion or remodeling of 28 stores.

In April 2007, the company launched its first outdoor collection. The company launched its first Williams-Sonoma gourmet cookware store in Vancouver in November 2007. In the same month, Williams-Sonoma also unveiled its expanded Pottery Barn outlet in Vancouver. Again, in November 2007, the company resolved the suit it had filed against Oracle Corp regarding order and inventory management systems. In December 2007, the company announced that it would pull out of IDS Center in Minneapolis at the end of January 2008 when its lease runs out. In February 2008, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn, a subsidiary of the company, announced that they would open stores at the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside in Western Massachusetts in 2008.
In May 2008, Williams-Sonoma signed a lease for 33,862 square feet of distribution space in Lakeland, Florida.The specialty retailer would occupy a portion of the new 139,500-square-foot building located at 2850 Interstate Drive in the Lakeland Interstate Business Park.

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. – Key Employees

Name

Job Title

Board

Compensation

W. Howard Lester

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Executive Board

4509917 USD

Patrick J. Connolly

Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer

Executive Board

1301079 USD

Adrian D.P. Bellamy

Director

Non Executive Board

Adrian T Dillon

Director

Non Executive Board

Anthony A. Greener

Director

Non Executive Board

Michael R Lynch

Director

Non Executive Board

Richard T Robertson

Director

Non Executive Board

David B. Zenoff

Director

Non Executive Board

Ted W. Hall

Director

Non Executive Board

Laura J Alber

President

Senior Management

3238744 USD

Dean Miller

Executive Vice President, Chief Supply Chain Officer

Senior Management

992823 USD

David DeMattei

Group President, Williams-Sonoma, Williams-Sonoma Home, West Elm

Senior Management

34488923 USD

Seth R Jaffe

Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Senior Management

Sharon L McCollam

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer

Senior Management

3320750 USD