December 4, 2008, 12:00 AM

Williams-Sonoma web sales fall in Q3

The web declined along with other revenue channels for Williams-Sonoma Inc. in the third quarter. E-commerce sales dropped by 7.1%, while total revenue and retail sales declined by 16% and 14.1%, respectively.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

The web declined along with other revenue channels for Williams-Sonoma Inc. in the third quarter.

For the quarter ended Nov. 2, web sales for Williams-Sonoma, No. 21 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, dropped by 7.1% to $247.5 million from $266.3 million in Q3 of 2007. Overall Williams-Sonoma posted a net loss of $11 million on total sales of $752.1 million, compared with net earnings of $27 million on sales of $895.1 million in the prior year. Retail sales declined year over year by 14.1% to $424.4 million from $494.3 million.

The web accounted for 33% of all sales in the third quarter. “Year-over-year sales across all brands and channels declined progressively throughout the third quarter,” says CEO Howard Lester. “While the Pottery Barn brands were the most affected, all brands were impacted at varying levels. To put this in perspective, company-wide comparable store sales declined from negative 14% in August to negative 20.1% in September to negative 27.6% in October.”

For the first three quarters, e-commerce revenue for Williams-Sonoma is up year over year by 3.9% to $764.1 million from $735.2 million. Retail sales declined by about 8% to $1.32 billion for the first three quarters vs. $1.43 billion in the previous year.

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