November 8, 2012, 2:10 PM

Williams-Sonoma adds a personal touch with its new e-commerce site

Mark and Graham offers personalized gifts online and via catalog.

Lead Photo

Housewares retail chain Williams-Sonoma Inc. is expanding its direct-to-consumer channel with the launch today of a new e-commerce site and direct mail catalog featuring personalized gifts and accessories.

MarkandGraham.com offers shoppers free monogramming and engraving on seasonal items and gifts such as Christmas stockings, copper mugs and silver jewelry. On the quilted Christmas stockings product page, for example, a shopper will see a Personalize It button. A click opens a new window that allows her to enter a name of up to nine characters and then select from 16 colors for the stocking monogram.

Similar to Williams-Sonoma.com, the new site makes extensive use of images, with a large scrolling hero shot on the home page displaying items like monogrammed kitchen towels next to the words, “For the hostess with the mostest (style, that is.)”

The new brand name, Mark and Graham, is a play on words about creating one’s mark or monogram, the merchant says. Each order, guaranteed to arrive in five days, includes a branded linen box with a ribbon and customizable gift card. Orders above $49 are shipped free.

“One of the things that differentiates our company is our ability to incubate and launch new brands that can grow into substantial businesses,” says Laura Alber, president and CEO. “With Mark and Graham, our goal is to create a destination for beautiful, high-quality, thoughtful gifts that are personalized by the artful use of typography.”

Williams-Sonoma, No. 24 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, operates several e-commerce sites, including its primary housewares site Williams-Sonoma.com, furniture site PotteryBarn.com and PBTeen, a youth-focused home furnishings site. 2011 e-commerce sales of $1.41 billion accounted for 37.9% of $3.72 billion in total revenue.

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