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West Elm emerges as Williams-Sonoma's best growth option

March 21, 2019 / Caroline Jansen

Williams-Sonoma on Wednesday reported that fourth quarter net revenue grew 9.3% to $1.8 billion from $1.7 billion in the year-ago period, while comparable sales in the quarter grew 2.4%. E-commerce net revenue in the period grew 14.3% to $1 billion, accounting for 54.6% of total company net revenues. By brand, comps in the quarter rose 0.1% at Williams Sonoma, 1.6% at Pottery Barn Kids and Teen, and soared 11.1% at West Elm. However, comps fell 0.4% at Pottery Barn. Inventories grew 6% to $1.12 billion from $1.06 billion a year ago, below net revenue growth, according to a company press release. For the full year, the company reported that net revenue grew 7.2% to $5.7 billion from $5.3 billion a year ago, and comp brand sales grew 50 basis points to 3.7%. E-commerce revenue for fiscal year 2018 jumped 10.9% to $3.1 billion, a "record" 54.3% of total company net revenue. In its fiscal 2019 guidance, the company expects net revenue to reach between $5.67 billion and $5.84 billion and comp sales to grow 2% to 5%, and plans to close 30 stores, bringing the total to 595 by fiscal year's end.