US icon Williams Sonoma opens first overseas outlet in Sydney
San Francisco’s elite furniture and gourmet cookware brand Williams-Sonoma has opened four new stores in Sydney, the first time the brand has expanded beyond its US base.
Laura Alber of Williams Sonoma
The company will be opening outlets under its four brand identities of Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm stores.
"It's an exciting day for us," said Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Williams-Sonoma.
"Multichannel retailing is a hallmark of our family of brands. We're thrilled to open these four stores in Sydney, launch their corresponding websites and introduce customers to our inspiring catalogs."
Craig Nomura, Williams-Sonoma's senior vice-president of global development said it had opened in Australia due to the country’s avoidance of the GFC.
"I've looked at the numbers in terms of performance of retailers over the past two or three years and, relatively speaking, Australia's performance is better than most other countries around the world," he said.
"Secondly, the familiarity with our products and being an English-speaking country certainly made it palatable to open a store in Australia."
He added that Australia’s status as the company’s largest online market outside of its home territory was “quite impressive."
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said: “The United States continues to be the largest source of foreign direct investment in Australia and is a priority market for NSW,” as he opened the stores at Sydney’s Bondi junction.