Williams-Sonoma Discusses Future of Brands

Michele SanFilippo, January 17, 2005

New York — Williams-Sonoma's objective is to own the home category through multi-channel, multi-faceted retailing that continues to recognize opportunities in its core brands, as well as its newer retail ventures such as PBTeen, Hold Everything, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma Home.

Company executives discussed Williams-Sonoma's brands, current performance and goals for the near term at SG Cowen & Co.'s Consumer Conference last week.

At the presentation, Williams-Sonoma Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Pat Connolly said, “We are reinventing the way we sell housewares and home furnishings in America by creating a lifestyle with which consumers can identify. We are trying to make the Pottery Barn brands part of the American lexicon by building tremendous public awareness through the catalogs and Web sites.”

Connolly stated that the company will also be expanding its better performing Pottery Barn locations and opening its first Williams-Sonoma Home stores this year. He identified the bridal and teen/pre-teen markets as very important growth areas.

For West Elm, which he said targets the consumer between Ikea and Pottery Barn, the retailer's color palette for products will become less edgy starting in 2005.

Connolly added, “Emerging brands will help us escalate our growth as a company as they mature and develop. Home remains as important as ever to the consumer who isn't losing interest in buying home furnishings.”

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