Digital Business Drives Williams-Sonoma Q2 Gains

The second quarter was kinder to Williams-Sonoma than might have been expected, with the digital business driving gains but stores also contributing.

Net earnings were $134.6 million, or $1.70 per diluted share versus $62.6 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, in the year-prior quarter. Adjusted for one-time charges, earnings per diluted share were $1.80 versus 87 cents in the quarter a year earlier.

Williams-Sonoma topped a MarketBeat-published analyst consensus second quarter adjusted diluted earnings per share estimate of 99 cents.

Company comparable sales gained 10.5% year over year in the quarter, with Pottery Barn up 8.1%, West Elm up 7%, Williams Sonoma up 29.4% and Pottery Barn Kids and Teen up 4.8%. Comparable stores that were temporarily closed due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic were not excluded from the second quarter 2020 comp calculation.

Net revenues were $1.49 billion versus $1.37 billion in the quarter a year before. Operating income was $185.4 million versus $86.2 million in the year-previous quarter.

Laura Alber, Williams-Sonoma president and CEO, said, “We delivered an exceptional second quarter with net comp growth of 10.5% and demand comp growth of almost 19%, operating margin expansion to nearly double that of last year, and record earnings growth of over 100%. E-commerce again drove our results, growing 46% in the quarter, and our stores performed better-than-expected, improving throughout the quarter as we re-opened. In a time when home is more important than ever, we have taken this opportunity to push our longer term plans. We will accelerate digital growth and fundamentally shift the channel mix of our business, focus our marketing strategy on content and building customer relationships, and step up our profitability in our longer-term earnings outlook.”

She added that the Williams-Sonoma “digital-first strategy, our trusted and curated brands, our omnichannel approach, and our commitment to sustainability will continue to provide a powerful source of differentiation and competitive advantage as we execute against these priorities. Longer term, we believe the behavioral changes and industry shifts that have emerged from the pandemic will persist and continue to favor our business. We are investing in the next phase of our growth and the opportunities that position us for accelerated market share gain.”