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Williams-Sonoma sees permanent change in consumer behavior

Retail Editor 2, Jennifer Negley -- Home Textiles Today, June 15, 2010

New York - Williams-Sonoma Inc. believes the recession has recalibrated consumer attitudes about how they shop, and the company is repositioning the pricing of key merchandise categories and items.


"Above all, we believe the consumer's focus on price and value will endure long after the economy begins to recover," evp and chief marketing officer Pat Connolly told attendees at the William Blair 30th Annual Growth Stock Conference here this morning.


The company continues to work on reducing store costs, a plan that will entail shuttering some units, renegotiating leases on others and experimenting with smaller stores, he said.


The Pottery Barn nameplate is driving traffic through opening price point goods, and its West Elm brand is expanding opening price points along with its assortment of non-furniture product.


Connolly said the country is in "a reset economy that may not fully recover for three to five years."


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