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Williams-Sonoma rolling out another new format

San Francisco -- Williams-Sonoma will launch this fall a new store format -- Pottery Barn Bed & Bath, the company said during its presentation at the Raymond James 27th annual institutional investors conference today.

With this new format under the PB brand, the company expects to "replicate at retail the success we have had in our direct business with our Pottery Barn Bed & Bath catalog and e-commerce sales," explained Patrick Connolly, evp, chief marketing officer. Store locations and scheduled openings will be announced in the near future.

Also related to Pottery Barn, the company in April will test a new outdoor catalog that will show related merchandise "in a way never presented before," Connolly said.

For its most recently launched retail unit, Williams-Sonoma Home, strategies for 2006 include customer service enhancements, speedier delivery of customer upholstered furniture to 45 days from 16 weeks, and better focus in merchandising to build out its upholstery, dining and bedroom assortments, and "especially a refocus on bed and bath textiles, which were a great entry point to the brand," Connolly said.

West Elm continues to be the company's fastest growing emerging band. It will march onward in the same stride it took last year, with refinements in color palette, furniture and fabric offerings to reach a more diverse customer base. Textiles and floor coverings are two categories poised for expansion at West Elm.

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