Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM) announced plans today for the continued global expansion of its distinguished portfolio of brands. Through a multi-year agreement with Stores Specialists, Inc. ("SSI"), the Philippines will be the next country in Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s strategic global expansion initiative. Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids will be the first brands to debut and are expected to open in Manila in early 2014 at Bonifacio High Street, the first main street retail concept in the Philippines. The agreement with SSI includes development rights in the Philippines for all brands in the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio including: Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen and West Elm. In the past year, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. has made multiple announcements surrounding its global expansion strategy including the expansion of its Middle East retail footprint with M.H. Alshaya Company, as well as new company-owned stores in Australia and the United Kingdom. In May 2013, the company introduced its first Australia stores in Sydney with the opening of Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm at Bondi Junction. Additional West Elm store openings are expected in Melbourne and London later this year. “We believe there is a significant opportunity to extend the reach of our brands globally,” said Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. “The Philippines is a natural market for us, with a strong, steadily growing economy and consumer interest in high-quality, stylish home products. We are pleased to partner with SSI, a company with demonstrated success developing well-known brands in the Philippines and a deep understanding of the local customer base. We are confident they are the right partner to introduce our brands to the Philippines market and deliver on our company promise to enhance customers’ lives at home.” “We are delighted to have the opportunity to introduce the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands to the Philippines,” said Anthony Huang, Executive Vice President of Stores Specialists, Inc. “More than ever, our customers are looking for unique, high-quality home products, and Williams-Sonoma Inc.’s family of brands exemplifies the innovative style, quality, and service they expect.”
ABOUT WILLIAMS-SONOMA, INC.Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a specialty retailer of high-quality products for the home. These products, representing eight distinct merchandise strategies – Williams-Sonoma ( cookware and wedding registry), Pottery Barn ( furniture and wedding registry), Pottery Barn Kids ( kids’ furniture and baby registry), PBteen ( girls’ bedding and boys’ bedding), West Elm ( modern furniture and room decor), Williams-Sonoma Home ( luxury furniture and decorative accessories), Rejuvenation ( lighting and hardware) and Mark and Graham ( personalized gifts and gifts for the home) – are marketed through e-commerce websites, direct mail catalogs and 590 stores. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. currently operates in the United States, Canada and Australia, offers international shipping to customers worldwide, and has an unaffiliated franchisee that operates 25 stores in the Middle East. ABOUT SSI Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI) is a wholly Filipino-owned corporation established in 1987 with the mission of pioneering into freestanding specialty store concepts. It broke ground in specialty retailing by expanding its distribution through freestanding stores in prime shopping malls in Metro Manila. Through the last two decades, SSI grew its retailing operations by acquiring the exclusive marketing and franchise rights to some of the finest and most prestigious international brands in the world. It is now the leading specialty store retailer in the Philippines, trading over 600 stores to date. FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they do not fully materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include statements related to the success of our franchise operations in the Philippines, our anticipated opening of additional retail stores in Australia and the UK, and our growth expansion strategy. The risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include the risk that the anticipated franchise stores in the Philippines do not open on schedule or are not successful, that the overall franchise operations are not successful, that our additional retail stores in Australia and the UK do not open on schedule or are not successful, and that we are not able to continue to execute our growth strategy as planned. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 3, 2013 and all subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.