May 30, 2007, 12:00 AM

First quarter web sales rise 19% for Williams-Sonoma

First quarter Internet sales at Williams-Sonoma Inc. rose by 19% while total revenue increased by 2.7%. Williams-Sonoma reported total sales of $816.1 million, compared with $794.3 million in the prior year.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

First quarter Internet sales at Williams-Sonoma Inc. rose by 19% while total revenue increased by 2.7%.

In Q1, the web generated sales of $239.2 million vs. $201 million in Q1 2006. At the same time, Williams-Sonoma, No. 20 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported total sales of $816.1 million, compared with $794.3 million in the prior year.

"Although the macro-environment in the home furnishings sector in the first quarter of 2007 continued to be very challenging, we aggressively managed the rapid changes in our business and delivered better than expected earnings for the quarter,” says CEO Howard Lester.

In Q1, the web accounted for 29% of total sales and 66% of direct-to-customer sales, which amounted to $362.7 million. The retailer says about 55% of Internet sales are generated by Williams-Sonoma customers who recently received a catalog.

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