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Williams-Sonoma holiday sales up 4.4 percent

Williams-Sonoma, parent of specialty decor retailers Pottery Barn and West Elm, reported a 4.4 percent increase in revenues in the nine-week holiday period, to $1.02 billion from $977.8 million last year.

Retail net revenues rose 3.3 percent to $650.6 million from $629.6 million last year. Direct-to-consumer revenues rose 6.4 percent to $370.6 million from $348.2 million last year.

Despite the higher revenues, Howard Lester, chairman and CEO of Williams-Sonoma, said the company sees weakness ahead.

“We are, however, seeing continued weakness in January and as such, are reducing our fourth-quarter net revenue and diluted earnings per share guidance accordingly,” Lester said.

Lester counted a “revitalization” in the company’s Pottery Barn stores as a success in 2007. He said the company will continue “capitalizing on the success of our 2007 key growth strategies, including the revitalization of the Pottery Barn brand.”

Williams-Sonoma home decor brands include Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma Home.


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