West Elm sales fall in both Q4 and full year

The parent company of furniture retail brand West Elm has reported a decline in fourth quarter and full year sales.

According to its latest trading update for Q4 and its fiscal year ended 28 January 2024, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. reported overall sales for the fourth quarter of $2.2bn, down 6.8% from $2.4bn on the same period last year. Net earnings fell to $354.4m from $354.9m.

Its West Elm brand saw revenues fall 15.3% to $453m from $534m, while the Williams Sonoma brand registered an uptick of 1.6% to $524m. Pottery Barn sales fell 9.6% to $874m.

As for the full year, total sales were down 9.9% to $7.7bn from $8.6bn year-on-year, with net earnings resulting at $949.7m, down from $1.1bn.

Its West Elm brand saw revenues fall 18.8% to $1.8bn from $2.2bn, while the Williams Sonoma brand registered a decline of 0.7% to $1.2bn. Pottery Barn sales fell 9.7% to $3.2bn.

Looking ahead, in fiscal 2024, the company expects annual net revenue growth in the range of -3% to +3% with comps in the range of -4.5% to +1.5%; and an operating margin between 16.5% to 16.8%.

Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are pleased with our strong finish to 2023. We delivered an annual operating margin of 16.4% with full-year earnings per share of $14.85, beating our 2023 comp guidance of -10% to -12% and hitting our operating margin range of 16% to 16.5%.

“We outperformed in 2023 despite the slowest housing market in several decades and geopolitical unrest. Although this pressured our top-line trend, we stayed focused on full-price selling, supply chain efficiencies, and best-in-class customer service. We have transformed our business model and as a result, we delivered an operating margin well ahead of our pre-pandemic profitability.”

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