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Williams-Sonoma Boosts E-Commerce Business Amid Coronavirus

Zacks Equity Research

In the event of temporary closure of all U.S. and Canada stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. WSM has been greatly focusing on the e-commerce business. The company has announced that it will extend store closure for another two weeks.

This leading home specialty retailer of high-quality and sustainable products has been putting in continued efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 18, it has closed all its stores across the country.

Given the unpredictable effects of coronavirus on consumer behavior and economic activity in general, the company has temporarily suspended its full-year guidance. Also, it has suspended all capital expenditures that are non business-critical and is substantially reducing the inventory level for the year. Notably, the company expects near-term softness to prevail, as overall consumer demand is likely to decline in the future.

E-Commerce a Boon for Williams-Sonoma Despite COVID-19 Mayhem

Williams-Sonoma has a history of driving market share gains, supported by strong e-commerce websites, direct mail catalogs and retail stores, along with shipping fees received for the delivery of merchandise. The company is expected to generate strong revenues from the e-commerce channel on account of shutdowns to stop COVID-19 spread.

Williams-Sonoma is a highly customer-centric company that focuses on enhancing customer experience through technological innovation and operational improvement. Also, continuous technological and product innovation helps it enhance customer engagement. Its innovative efforts helped the company to drive e-commerce revenues to an all-time high of more than 56% of total revenues in fiscal 2019.

Share Price Performance

Shares of the company have declined 42.1% in the year-to-date period compared with RH RH, At Home Group Inc. HOME and The Lovesac Company’s LOVE 53%, 63.3% and 63.7% fall, respectively. The Retail - Home Furnishings industry has declined 44.9% in the said time frame.

Nonetheless, its solid e-commerce growth, strong West ELM and emerging businesses, focus on innovation, along with strong marketing and digitalization techniques will drive growth.

Zacks Rank

Williams-Sonoma currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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