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West Elm looks beyond the city limits

SAN FRANCISCO — To boost sales, Williams-Sonoma will diversify the year-old West Elm brand to expand its appeal beyond city-dwellers.

Building on its flagship West Elm store in Brooklyn, N.Y., Williams-Sonoma Inc. plans to open two more "prototype" West Elm retail stores during the third and fourth quarters, stated CEO Ed Mueller during the company's first quarter conference call today.

Though the new locations — in the West Village of Manhattan and in Northern California — fall in line with West Elm's original urban strategy, "We believe that with broadening of the assortment, it has the potential to appeal to a much wider market segment and become one of our larger brands over time," he said.

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