Financial Performance

Digital Sales Power Williams-Sonoma Growth

The retailer's e-commerce revenue increased 8.9% in the second quarter and the channel accounted for 53.9% of total sales.
Matthew HellerAugust 23, 2018

Williams-Sonoma shares jumped 7% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, with its e-commerce channel and West Elm brand performing particularly well.

For the second quarter, Williams-Sonoma earned 77 cents per share while revenue increased 6.1% to $1.275 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 69 cents per share on revenue of $1.26 billion.

Comparable brand sales grew 4.6%, beating estimates of 4.1%.

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“Our powerful multi-channel, multi-brand platform, together with our strong execution of our strategic initiatives in digital leadership, product innovation, retail transformation and operational excellence are having a positive impact on all parts of our business,” CEO Laura Alber said in a news release.

Williams-Sonoma has been expanding its online business by using augmented-reality tools, creating videos on social media sites and making digital advertisements.

In the second quarter, e-commerce revenues increased 8.9% to $687 million, or 53.9% of total sales. That followed a first quarter when revenue growth (11.2%)reached its highest level since 2014.

Among the company’s brands, West Elm posted 9.5% revenue growth, followed by Pottery Barn Kids and Teen (5.7%), Pottery Barn (2.0%), and Williams Sonoma (1.6%).

Alber said in an earnings call that Williams-Sonoma’s new Ensemble space planner will allow customers “to build their own floor plans, browse our product assortments cross-brand and drag-and-drop photorealistic pieces to furnish their homes with more confidence and accuracy.”

She also noted that the company’s efforts to enhance its product information web pages have paid off, “particularly in the Pottery Barn brand where we introduced editorial content that focuses on product quality and reasons to buy.”

For the full year, Williams-Sonoma is now expecting earnings per share between $4.26 and $4.36 and 3%-5% comparable brand sales growth, versus previous guidance of EPS between $4.15 and $4.25 EPS and 2%-5% sales growth.

“Given the results in the first half and the momentum our initiatives are creating, we are raising our full-year guidance for net revenues, comp revenue growth, operating margin and EPS,” Alber said.