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West Elm Fastest Growing W-S Brand

Company Moves to Broaden Assortment

San Francisco — Recognizing West Elm as one of its fastest growing brands and potentially its biggest over Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma Inc. is transitioning the store's assortment to a broader appeal, the company said during its presentation at last week's Bear Stearns Retail, Restaurants and Apparel Conference.

The brand's assortment changes are already visible at the West Elm store in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood and in its new spring catalog. West Elm's 2005 fall and holiday assortment will further demonstrate this effort, according to the company.

For its Williams-Sonoma brand, the company is embarking this year on several new initiatives that include revamping the remaining 199 Williams-Sonoma units that measure less than 6,000 square feet, said Patrick Connolly, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Williams-Sonoma also has plans to update its catalog, beginning this spring, per mailing cycle, “to look fresh and new and more seasonally relevant,” he added.

As for its Williams-Sonoma Home brand, the company this year will open its first units. It already sees promise based on customers' responses — the peak purchase rate of people who have bought from Williams-Sonoma Home is among the highest in the company, said Connolly.

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