Williams-Sonoma Designs New Catalog

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While Williams-Sonoma Inc. closes the door on one catalog, with its Chambers book taking orders for the last time Aug. 15, it opens the door on another.

The company announced yesterday the launch of its new home furnishings catalog, Williams-Sonoma Home.

The last issue of Chambers, which contained quality bed linens, plush towels and handcrafted furniture, mailed July 6. Williams-Sonoma Home will have a similar up-market approach, and many of the names scheduled to receive the first issue next month come from Chambers' list of active customers.

Williams-Sonoma Home will have an initial print run of 3 million for its first issue, part of which will mail the week of Sept. 13. Along with names from Chambers' mailing list, the company will pull active customers from its Williams-Sonoma catalog database to receive the new book.

Catalogs also will be available on counters inside Williams-Sonoma stores starting Sept. 10 and by request at wshome.com or by calling 888/922-4110.

The premiere issue's 80 pages will offer high-end, traditional items for the home that reflect a "European-inspired casual elegance," according to a company statement. Product categories include dining and living room furniture, accessories for entertaining, lighting, tableware, bedding and bath linens. Prices range from $16 for a wine goblet to $2,800 or more for a custom-upholstered sofa.

Custom furniture is a focus of the catalog -- which will offer more than 65 fabrics, from mohair to leather, that can be paired with more than 20 sofas, ottomans and chairs.

Williams-Sonoma expects to deliver custom orders 45 days from the time of order. Given the custom upholstery industry's decentralized nature, there is no standard for prices or delivery times.

Williams-Sonoma Home will avoid straight product shots in favor of merchandise photographed inside a decorated room, for example. It will be printed on heavier paper stock than what the company uses for other catalogs. Williams-Sonoma's catalogs include Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Williams-Sonoma and West Elm.

The book will be published three times in 2004, with the second issue coming out near the end of October and the third toward the end of November. Williams-Sonoma Home will publish 12 times next year.

An e-commerce site and stores are planned for 2005.

In other company news, catalog/retail chain Hold Everything will launch an e-commerce Web site in November.


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