January 13, 2011, 3:31 PM

Williams-Sonoma cooks up hot holiday web sales

Christmas e-commerce sales grew year over year by 30.9%.

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It was a merry Christmas online and otherwise for Williams-Sonoma Inc.

For the eight-week holiday period ended Dec. 26, Williams-Sonoma, No. 26 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • E-commerce accounted for 32% of total net sales of $865 million, compared with 27% of $783 million in the prior year. Based on those numbers, Internet Retailer calculates 2010 holiday web sales grew 30.9% to $276.8 million from holiday online sales of $211.4 million in 2009.
  • Total sales grew year over year 10.5% to $865 million from $783 million.
  • Direct sales, which include catalog and web, rose 19.5% to $337 million from $282 million in the prior year.
  • Comparable–store sales increased 5%.

“During the holiday period, as expected, our e-commerce channel continued to grow as a percentage of total net revenues,” says CEO Laura Albers.

Williams-Sonoma doesn’t break out its year-end figures until March. But e-commerce is already a priority that will gain more importance in 2011, says Albers. “To improve profitability, we will continue to drive efficiencies in our worldwide supply chain, reinvent the customer experience in our retail stores to drive increased traffic and higher sales per square foot, and further expand our initiatives in e-commerce, which operates at a significantly higher operating margin than our other sales channels,” she says. “In fiscal 2011, we expect e-commerce to continue to increase as a percentage of total company revenue.”

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