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Williams-Sonoma primes the pump with brand expansions

New York — With Pottery Barn preparing to launch its wedding and gift registry this month, Williams-Sonoma continues to expand its multi-channel approach to growth, Patrick Connolly, director and evp, chief marketing officer, told analysts at the Robertson Stephens conference here.

"We can't look at any channel in isolation," he said, adding that 30 percent of its customers shop more than one channel and 56 percent of its catalog shoppers also purchase in the stores. "We can surround the customer with our brand - on the Internet, in the stores, in catalogs."

Store expansion will result in 212 locations at the end of the year, with 20 new and expanded stores. Pottery Barn will total 146 locations at the end of the year with the addition of 15 new stores. The company's Next Generation format for Pottery Barn, which has an extended bed and bath section, will debut next month in Palo Alto, CA.

The PB stores and catalogs have also been re-merchandised, he said. The company plans to reset 15 to 20 stores by the end of the year, and sales have increased 30 percent in such stores.

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