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Williams-Sonoma curbs Q1 loss


San Francisco Williams-Sonoma credited lower inventory and reduced spending for a lower-than-expected quarterly loss of $18.7 million for the first fiscal quarter ended May 3, compared with a profit of $10.4 million for the same period a year ago.

The chain’s sales were $611.6 million, almost a 22% drop from $782 million for the first quarter 2008. Same-store sales slid 21%.

As the chain enters its second quarter, it will continue to focus on five key strategies: more emphasis on innovative merchandising and on price points; improving customer service; streamlining catalog circulation; driving efficiencies across its worldwide supply chain; and maximizing profitability and cash flow, according to the chain’s chairman and CEO Howard Lester.

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