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Williams-Sonoma’s e-commerce sales grow 8.4% in Q1

May 21, 2015 12:43 PM
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Home-furnishings retailer Williams-Sonoma Inc. is getting more at home with e-commerce. The company reported Wednesday that web sales for its first fiscal quarter accounted for 51.7% of total revenue, up from 50.4% a year earlier.

E-commerce sales in the quarter ended May 3 increased 8.4% to $532.57 million from $491.29 million in the same quarter last year, as total sales increased 5.8% to $1.031 billion from $974.30 million.

E-commerce is an important part of the retailer’s overall success, said Laura Alber, president and CEO, during a conference call with analysts. “We are a strong brand delivering innovative products, outstanding service and a multichannel platform with superior e-commerce capabilities resulting in more than 50% of our business already coming from e-commerce and profitably,” she said.

The e-commerce channel continued to show strong operating profit margin of 24%, though it was down slightly from 24.7% in the year-ago quarter because of higher shipping costs, she said. By comparison, she noted that the operating margin for stores was 5.6% in the quarter, down from 6.3% a year ago because of expenses related to such operations as store occupancy costs and information technology infrastructure.

Alber added that Williams-Sonoma also benefits from its ability to compile information from e-commerce and store sales data on consumers’ shopping interests to better recommend products online and in stores. “We use this information to not only target and personalize our offers online, but also to better connect with our customers in the stores, and so actually our store associates will understand more clearly what the different customers already previously purchased and what they are looking for,” she said on the conference call, according to a transcript provided by Seeking Alpha. 

Williams-Sonoma also reported for the quarter:

  • Store sales increased 3.1% year over year to $498.10 million from $483.04 million.
  • Cost of goods sold increased 7.6% to $651.84million from $605.92.
  • Net earnings decreased 3.0% to $44.79 million from $46.16 million.

Williams-Sonoma is No. 20 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide. 

 

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