Williams Sonoma’s 3Q16 Earnings Call Notes

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Williams-Sonoma’s (WSM) CEO Laura Alber on Q3 2016 Results

No pullback in the promotional environment

“We haven’t seen any pullback in the promotional environment. As Julie said, we think in fact because of some people having more inventory than they like, that it could get more promotional. The customers are smart, they are looking for the best value, but not at the expense of quality. And we have also tested some different shipping offers because we want to see if they’re more price-sensitive to shipping versus total price and we haven’t come to any conclusion on that yet. But we know that customers are definitely interested in the best price they can get and what we feel great about is that our exclusive design capabilities and direct sourcing advantages allows us to deliver outstanding quality to great value.”

Julie Whalen

Expecting an even more promotional environment

“Also we believe it’s going to be a promotional environment and probably more promotional than it has been. We have seen that the customer is shopping later and later and there’s a lot of retailers that haven’t had very good results; they’ve got a lot of extra inventory and they’ve got of get rid of it a very short time period. So we’re also accounting on a little bit of some promotional pressure. Also though we still have the supply chain benefits rolling through, they have less of an impact when it’s on our largest quarter and so we don’t have as much of an ability to offset as we have in the past. So I think those are some of the biggest put and takes there.”