Williams-Sonoma Posts Lower 1Q Earnings

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Housewares retailer and cataloger Williams-Sonoma reported yesterday that its first-quarter net earnings plummeted to $492,000, well below last year's $4.8 million for the same period.

Despite the drop in overall earnings, the retailer saw its direct-to-customer sales increase 14 percent to $167.7 million, from $147 million for the same period last year. The increase resulted from higher sales from the company's Pottery Barn Kids catalog and the William-Sonoma and Pottery Barn Internet business.

Sales for the quarter, which ended April 29, rose 14.3 percent to $417.6 million from $365.3 million in the year-ago period. However, same-store sales fell 2.8 percent from first quarter 2000.

Despite the lower net earnings, the company is moving forward with plans to open 19 Pottery Barn Kids stores and will open the Pottery Barn Kids gift registry in the fall.


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