Also read where the wealthy are pulling back too. Who is going to buy all the downhill skis to cover the 2B in debt? It doensn't look like kitchen gadgets are going to be big. Stating short. This has to see teens soon.
CHICAGO (AP) - Executives at Williams-Sonoma Inc. said the retailer scaled back the size of its popular catalogs by nearly a third while winnowing down the number of consumers across the country who receive the publications.
Speaking at an investor conference on Tuesday, that San Francisco-based owner of the Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and Hold Everything brands said it cut the circulation of its catalogs by about 25 percent while reducing the number of pages by 31 percent.
The moves have helped the retailer shave up to $40 million off its advertising costs as it tries to better focus its marketing efforts on customers who are still buying home furnishing items amid a weakening economy, executives said.
"We know that the pages we would have mailed would not have yielded a profitable return," said Patrick Connolly, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, at the Thomas Weisel Partners Consumer Conference in New York.
The company is shifting more of its marketing toward e-mails, which are more targeted and can be tailored to specific types of customers.
Connolly also said the nation's retail environment is the worst in 30 years, particularly in areas where the housing market has suffered the most.
Williams-Sonoma chairman Howard Lester also said the retailer would be challenged to post positive same-store sales growth in the fourth quarter.
"This is probably the worst I've seen it by far," Lester said. "It would be hard and insane actually to forecast positive comps in the fourth quarter, so we're not going to do that. But we're always optimistic. You have to be."
Williams-Sonoma shares fell 60 cents, or 3.4 percent, to close at $17.19.