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Williams-Sonoma sets e-commerce milestone


Williams-Sonoma set a milestone in 2014 that helped the retailer post an impressive jump in same store sales and profit.

The specialty retailer of home furnishing products reported that for the first time ever, e-commerce sales made up more than 50% of all revenues in 2014.

Williams-Sonoma said its fourth quarter net revenues grew 5.2% to $1.542 billion versus $1.466 billion in the prior year quarter. Same store sales grew of 5.1%. Earnings per share grew 13.8% to $1.57 from $1.38 in the prior year quarter.

“Our powerful brands and the competitive advantage provided by our multi-channel platform and entrepreneurial culture delivered another year of strong returns for our shareholders,” said Laura Alber, president and CEO. “In 2014, we experienced growth in all of our brands and across our channels. Our highly profitable e-commerce business represented more than 50% of our revenues in 2014, a significant milestone for Williams-Sonoma, Inc., as we capitalize on our position at the intersection of retail and technology. We are very pleased with our fourth quarter results despite the effects of the west coast port disruption. Unfortunately, we expect this disruption to continue and to have a more significant impact through the first half of 2015.”

For the full fiscal year of 2014, net revenues at Williams-Sonoma increased to $4.699 billion from $4.388 billion in FY 13, while same store sales decreased to 7.1% (from 8.8% in FY 13).

Alber added: “We have driven consistent profitable growth through innovation, operational excellence and our customer-centered approach, along with exceptional financial discipline. We believe there is a significant opportunity to expand our reach domestically and globally. Our long-term outlook is strong and we are focused on execution.”

The company said the impact of the west coast port slowdown is anticipated to be a $30 to $40 million reduction in net revenues and a 10 to 12 cent reduction in EPS in fiscal 2015, which predominantly affects the first quarter guidance.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. is a specialty retailer operating e-commerce websites, direct mail catalogs and 601 stores. Williams-Sonoma Inc. currently operates in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, offers international shipping to customers worldwide, and has unaffiliated franchisees that operate stores in the Middle East and the Philippines.

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