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Report: Williams-Sonoma Continues Growth Strategy

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco Williams-Sonoma is committed to a “cautious” store-opening schedule, according to GlobeSt.com.

Executives said during its first-quarter conference call that the company will open a total of 51 new units this year across nearly all its brands, while closing 24 stores. No new Williams-Sonoma Home stores will be opened this year, the report said.

The openings come even as comp-store sales declined 9%. Net revenues decreased 4.2% to $781.8 million. However, e-commerce sales have risen 8.7%, attributed to the natural growth of e-commerce and shoppers migrating from phone sales, not from stores.

“We’re continuing to monitor very closely what happens with customers who come from the Web and migrate to retail stores, and retail customers who might migrate to the Web,” said Howard Lester, chairman and CEO. “We’ve seen very little shift to the extent that it would affect our ability to open retail stores. At this time, I don’t see any material change in our long-term strategy.”

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Target May sales rise 5.5%

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target reported that its net retail sales for May increased 5.5% to $4.6 billion from $4.3 billion for the same period last year. On this same basis, May comparable-store sales decreased 0.7%.

Our comparable store sales performance in May was in line with our planned range, said Gregg Steinhafel, president and ceo of Target.

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Talbots to cut corporate staff by 9%

BY CSA STAFF

HINGHAM, Mass. Talbots said it is reducing its corporate staff by about 9% as part of its efforts to streamline operations and rationalize its cost structure. The company expects this action to result in estimated annualized cost savings of approximately $14 million, which contributes to the company’s goal to reduce its cost structure by a minimum of $100 million by the end of fiscal 2009 (as announced on Feb. 6).

Trudy Sullivan, president and ceo of Talbots, said, A key finding of our strategic review completed in the first quarter of 2008 was the need to realign and streamline internal company functions to enable the successful execution of our long-range plan. We therefore are examining all areas of our business to maximize efficiency and drive overall improved productivity. We are making excellent progress in achieving all of the objectives laid out in our strategic long-range plan and are firmly on track to restore profitability from our ongoing core operations and deliver enhanced shareholder value beginning in 2008. 

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