November 19, 2009, 12:00 AM

Web sales decline once more for Williams-Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma Inc. posted higher net income in the third quarter but web sales also declined. E-commerce revenue declined 6.9% as total sales decreased 3%.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. posted higher net income in the third quarter but web sales also declined.

For the quarter ended Nov. 1, Williams-Sonoma reported:

  • Web sales were $230 million, a 6.9% decrease compared with $247 million a year ago.
  • Total sales declined 3.0% to $729.2 million from $752.0 million in the prior year quarter.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 1.7%. Comparable-store sales were up 7.6% for Pottery Barn but declined for the retailer’s other brands.
  • E-commerce accounted for 31.5% of sales compared with 32.8% in the same quarter last year.
  • Net income was $7.3 million compared with a net loss of $10.9 million a year ago.
“We are extremely pleased to deliver another consecutive quarter of better than expected results,” says CEO Howard Lester. “Throughout the quarter, we saw a progressively stronger than anticipated consumer response to our merchandise and marketing strategies which resulted in significantly improving selling margins.”

For the first nine months of fiscal 2009:

  • Web sales were $634 million, a 17% decrease compared with $764 million in 2008.
  • Total sales were $2.01 billion, down 14.5% from $2.35 billion in the prior year period.
  • Comparable-store sales were down 11.6%.
  • E-commerce accounted for 31.5% of total sales.
  • Net loss was $10.9 million compared with net income of $17.8 million in the prior year period.
Williams-Sonoma is No. 24 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, (a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name).

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