May 06, 2007

Annual Report Update: Williams Sonoma

A few findings from Williams Sonoma's annual report:
  • Retail = 58%, Direct-to-Consumer = 42% of the business.
  • New products: "... we believe that the mail order catalogs and the Internet act as a cost-efficient means of testing market acceptance of new products and new brands."
  • Internet sales: "... we estimate that approximately 45% of our company-wide non-gift registry Internet revenues are incremental to the direct-to-customer channel and approximately 55% are driven by customers who recently received a catalog".
  • Direct Channel Challenges: Sales growth (telephone + web). was just 4.5%, on a 3.2% increase in catalog pages circulated, and a 1.6% reduction catalogs mailed. Oh oh. Pay attention folks, this is a harbinger of the future for all of us.
  • Online sales grew 21% to $927.6 million. In 2007, "... plan to intensify the marketing support behind our fastest growing shopping channel, e-commerce".
  • Telephone sales were 58% of direct-to-consumer sales in 2004, and are 42% of direct-to-consumer sales in 2006.
It will be interesting to watch how Williams Sonoma evolves their catalog marketing over the next three years. They are publicly saying they plan on growing their marketing efforts online. What will happen to catalog marketing at Williams Sonoma? In addition, direct channel growth is slowing (although a title was killed). All of us need to pay close attention to this trend.


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