Williams-Sonoma continues push into diverse markets
By Cecile B. Corral -- Home Textiles Today, 6/21/2004 12:00:00 AM
SAN FRANCISCO —
Recognizing opportunities to accelerate its growth rate through new concepts, Williams-Sonoma Inc. is currently developing four of its brands to better cater to specific target customer bases, the company said last week during the Thomas Weisel Partners Growth Forum.
Pottery Barn Teen, a spin-off of the successful Pottery Barn Kids brand, grew in less than one year to $53 million in sales. A Web site for the brand was recently launched and now the company is "considering the retail expansion option," said Patrick Connolly, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "We're very excited about the potential for this business."
West Elm, which targets design-conscious consumers shopping the middle-market price points, is being positioned as a brand "whose sales could exceed $1 billion for us," Connolly said. "We're very excited about the potential here."
Although the company last year substantially reduced its West Elm catalog circulation to 13 million from 22 million catalogs, revenues still posted rises during the first quarter, Connolly said.
"We were able to achieve this by doing more precise target marketing of our customers as well as through the launch of the West Elm Web site," he added.
Hold Everything, a 20-year-old brand for William Sonoma Inc., more recently "has taken on a new life," Connolly said. In response, the company is developing it into a lifestyle brand that addresses storage and organization in every room of the home.
Sales performance of the Hold Everything catalog "significantly improved" and the company is planning on introducing at least one new model store this year.
Finally, the recently announced Williams-Sonoma Home brand — an extension of the kitchen-oriented Williams-Sonoma brand, will target the top 10 percent of the demographic of its sister brand's customer base.
Set to launch this fall, the first catalog for the brand will be issued in September.
"I happen to believe it has as large if not larger opportunity as any of our other businesses," said W. Howard Lester, chairman of the board. "If we execute it as planned, then we'll redefine home furnishings to the better customer in America."
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