May 19, 2011, 4:17 PM

Web sales heat up for Williams-Sonoma with 21% Q1 growth

The housewares and furnishings retailer’s total sales were up 7.4%.

Nesli Karakus

Senior Editor, Research

Lead Photo

The web was hot for Williams-Sonoma Inc. in the first quarter.

For the first quarter ended May 1, Williams-Sonoma, No. 25 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • Web sales were $290 million, up 20.8% from $240 million in the same quarter of 2010.
  • Total sales were $771 million, up 7.4% from $718 million in the same quarter of 2010.
  • Total direct-to-consumer sales, including web and catalog sales, were $344 million, up 12.5% from $305.9 million in the first quarter of 2010.  Direct-to-consumer sales for the first quarter of 2011 accounted for 45% of total net sales.
  • Total retail sales were $427 million, up 3.6% from $412 million in the first quarter of 2010.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 6.7%.
  • Net income was $31.6 million, up by 62% from $19.5 million in the prior year quarter.

Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 37.6% of total sales compared with 33.4% in the first quarter of 2010.

“An innovative merchandising strategy–supported by compelling price points, highly targeted multichannel marketing, and a superior customer experience–drove these better-than-expected results,” says Laura Alber, president and CEO. “During the quarter, we continued to invest in our key growth initiatives–including increasing our penetration in e-commerce, expanding the reach of the West Elm brand and extending our international presence.”

In May, the company launched international sales programs for its youth-focused brand, PBTeen, in 75 countries.

The company operates,,,, and



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