Marketing and Pottery Barn

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  • Topic: Marketing, Home decor retailers, Williams-Sonoma
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Unit VIII
Mini Case Study
Williams-Sonoma
MBA 5101
John A. Taylor

1. If Williams-Sonoma continues with its’ present strategies and objectives, where will it be in 5 years? Given today’s economy, and the bleak economic outlook, I do not believe Williams-Sonoma will continue to exist with its’ current strategies and objectives to serve its’ below target market consumers. Bottom line is many consumers cannot afford the products being sold by the company. Although, the company’s target market is in the 10% of wealthiest consumers, and had total earnings of over 3.5 billion. (2010 shareholders meeting). Other avenues of generating revenue must be explored. I fear that even the 10% will eventually become more cost conscious in the years to come. On the lines of the company improving its’ position in the next five years, I think the company should continue to improve on concepts already in place. An example is the Pottery Barn Teen website. (pbteen.com). Williams-Sonoma had used the concept in moderation starting with WS bridal registry. The idea took flight and as a result, moved the concept to its’ retail operations such as Pottery Barn, resulting in a 500% jump in online sales generating over 1 billion in revenue. (Prophet.com). Still with all these profits and improvements, if WS cannot hold by decreasing its’ prices so that others not in the 10% range can afford their products, the company will fail like the housing market. Over the next five years, the company should consider expanding its’ product line to include bath décor to complement the already established retail home furnishings.

2. If you were CEO of Williams-Sonoma, what strategies would you recommend? There are so many recommendations. I would first build on the internet base I talked about earlier. If I can improve internet sales over 500% I certainly want to keep that going. I would incorporate interactive websites. Having the ability to talk to, chat with an associate while I’m...
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