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Textiles a Boost to Williams-Sonoma's Q4

SAN FRANCISCO - Driven primarily by its Pottery Barn and West Elm brands, retailer Williams- Sonoma said fourth-quarter profits rose 9.1% on a 10.9% jump in revenues. Laura Alber, ceo, cited " textiles, furniture and decorative accessories" as important categories for the brand during the recent investor call.
     Williams-Sonoma's catalog and e-commerce businesses continued to grow at a faster pace than traditional retail stores, and Alber noted that all of brands except the flagship label recorded comparable brand revenue growth during the quarter.
     In the Pottery Barn Kids brand, net revenues for 2012 were $558 million, with an increase in comparable brand revenue of 5.6%. "The combination of textiles and furniture, especially in nursery, drove our business as our customers came to us to put together rooms for their children," she said.
     In the PBteen teen brand, net revenues for 2012 were $220 million, representing an increase in comparable brand revenue of 1.7% for the year and 6.4% in the fourth quarter. Alber said that "textiles drove performance in our business all year. Burton has been a fantastic launch for us, and we are happy and proud to continue this partnership, as well as introduce new exciting partnerships in 2013."
     In the West Elm brand, net revenues for 2012 were $430 million, representing almost 11% of total company sales. Comparable brand revenues grew 17.4% on top of 30.3% in 2011. "Growth continues to be driven by all categories, including furniture, textiles and decorative accessories," Alber said.
     Total revenues for the quarter ended Feb. 3 were $1.41 billion, up from $1.27 billion in the previous year's fourth quarter.
     Revenues from its retail stores rose 4.9% to $772.9 million and accounted for 55% of the total. The remaining 45% came from e-commerce and catalog business, which the company calls direct-to-consumer revenues. Those revenues rose 19.3% to $633.5 million.
     In the previous year's fourth quarter, retail and direct-to consumer revenues represented 58.1% and 41.9% of the total, respectively.
     In the most recent quarter, direct-to-consumer revenues were paced by Pottery Barn, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn Kids, while retail store revenue growth was led by West Elm and Pottery Barn. Fourth-quarter profits totaled $133.7 million or $1.34 per share. That was up from $122.6 million or $1.17 per share in the comparable period the previous year.
     Profit and revenue growth in the 53-week fiscal year ended Feb. 3 followed a similar pattern as the fourth quarter. Total revenues rose 8.6% from the previous 52-week fiscal year to $4.04 billion, while profits rose 8.4% to $256.7 million, or $2.54 per share.
     For the most recent year, direct-to-consumer revenues were up 14.5% to $1.87 billion, while revenues from traditional retail stores were up 4.1% to $2.17 billion.

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