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Williams-Sonoma maneuvering to offset higher costs

San Francisco – Williams-Sonoma Inc. is working with vendors to address rising raw material costs, but is heavily focused on creating cost savings in other areas to balance overhead.

“We are cognizant that we have an uphill battle on costs, particularly out of Asia,” said Laura Alber, who will step into the ceo role next week upon the retirement of Howard Lester. “It is a real issue.”

The company engaged in a packaging initiative to reduce over-packaging. It has in-sourced its hubs for regional ships and has already reduced cartons by 9%. Headquarters will move into a new building, and call centers are now doing outbound calls to generate sales.

 

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