Williams-Sonoma Q2 profit up 10%; to open four stores in Australia
Williams-Sonoma said its second-quarter net income rose 10%, fueled by double-digit sales growth at its Pottery Barn and West Elm stores. The results beat analysts’ expectations, and the company also raised its profit and sales predictions for the full year.
For the quarter ended July 29, Williams-Sonoma earned $43.4 million, up from $39.3 million in the same period last year.
Revenue rose 7% to $874.3 million, from $814.8 million last year. Same-store sales increased 7.4%, with an 11.7% increase at Pottery Barn and a 15.6% jump at West Elm. But the company’s namesake stores saw same-store sales dip 0.4%.
Similar to many retailers, Williams-Sonoma said it is cautious about its prospects for the second half of the year, given the continued economic uncertainty.
In other news, Williams-Sonoma said it plans to open four stores in Sydney, Australia, early next year. All of its store brands will be represented: Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm. They will be the first company-operated locations outside of North America.
RONA dealers send letter to Lowe’s
The independent merchants that operate 164 RONA stores across Canada have added their voice to the opposition of a Lowe’s takeover.
The dealers have written a letter to Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock, which was made public Wednesday. In it the dealers write:
“We want to reinforce your view that it may not be a good idea for you to buy RONA, after you appeared to state your doubts about the deal on Monday, while you were announcing your financial results. We respectfully say, ‘No, thank you,’ as we feel that Lowe’s business model is incompatible with the one with which we have individually chosen to engage.”
In addition, the independents reinforce their preference for and loyalty to RONA’s approach to retailing, stating: “We are RONA shareholders. We are RONA’s clients. We are the retailers who sell RONA’s products.”
RILA announces opposition to ‘flawed’ proposed swipe fee settlement
The Retail Industry Leaders Association criticized the proposed swipe fee settlement and urged class plaintiffs to reject the proposal. Announced in July, the proposed settlement stems from lawsuits challenging the anticompetitive swipe fee practices of Visa and MasterCard.
“While Visa and MasterCard’s decision to pursue a settlement affirms the legitimacy of retailers’ claims, the flawed proposal upholds the networks’ anticompetitive practices and fails to provide retailers and their consumers with meaningful relief from tens of billions of dollars in hidden fees,” said RILA president Sandy Kennedy. “We urge class plaintiffs to reject the proposal and send a clear message that a settlement that fails to engender competition and fix the broken electronic payments market is unacceptable.”
If the proposed settlement is ultimately approved, all retailers will be bound by its terms, RILA said. Among the many proposed terms that concern retailers is the release of Visa and MasterCard from any future legal claims related to their interchange practices and terms that could stifle emerging innovations, such as mobile payments.
“Retailers are concerned that in addition to limiting their future legal options, the proposed settlement preserves the Visa/MasterCard duopoly and constrains emerging innovations that could bring meaningful competition to the marketplace,” added Kennedy.