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SAN FRANCISCO-The executives at Williams-Sonoma Inc.always have a few new brand concepts in the hopper,according to Patrick Connolly, executive vicepresident and chief marketing officer, who spoke atThink Equity Partners’ 2005 Growth Conference.

The company’s four new brands—-Pottery Barn Teens, WestElm, Hold Everything and Williams-Sonoma Home–havethe ability to accelerate the company’s growth,Connolly said. They join the company’s core concepts–Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and Williams-Sonoma.

“We’re very, very busy with these new brands,”Connolly said, adding that the company would have beenhappy to see even two of the new concepts succeed.Instead, Pottery Barn Teen achieved $100 millionduring its first year of operations, while one of the12 West Elm stores is outperformed all of thecompany’s brands.

“West Elm, if executed properly, could be our biggestbrand,” Connolly said. The company is working onbroadening the brand’s appeal by offering products inmore traditional colors while retaining its fashionforward aspects. “West Elm offers a new sense of styleat a great value,” he explained.

The company has great expectations for Williams-SonomaHome, which offers designer quality products at abetter value. The first Williams-Sonoma Home retailstore will open later this month in Los Angeles andtwo more stores will open in Southern Californiabefore the end of the year.

Beyond new brands, there is still significant growthpotential at Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and Williams-Sonoma. The company expects to have 191 Pottery Barn stores by the end of the year, with the potential for 225 to 250 total.

Similarly, Williams-Sonoma is expanding–both byadding new stores and expanding existing stores. “Wesee growth opportunities for this great brand,”Connolly said, adding that the brand has the potentialfor 275 to 300 stores. Currently, there are 252Williams-Sonoma stores in the United States. Moreover,the company is focused on expanding the brand’s bestperforming locations, and 50 stores have beenidentified for expansion.

Connolly added that Pottery Barn Kids has been a greatsuccess story for the company. The brand, which postedrevenues of $450 million in 2004, is expected to postdouble-digit growth for both direct (catalog andinternet) and retail channels. Specifically, thecompany is working on rolling out new merchandisecategories that will drive repeat customer traffic toPottery Barn Kids stores.

“Over the years, we’ve grown faster than the industry,our peers and competitors,” Connolly said. “We’redeveloping strong brands and starting new brandsconsistently and successfully.”

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