1. If the Williams-Sonoma continues with its present strategies and objectives where will it be in five years? As said by Rouse (2005) author of the Williams-Sonoma case study Williams-Sonoma uses the diversification growth strategy. According to the text with this strategy the company expands product lines by moving into other industries (Wheelen & Hunger p. 208 par. 4). Initially Williams-Sonoma opened its first store in 1956 selling a small array of cookware imported from France. Since then the brand has expanded to hundreds of products from around the world more than 250 stores nationwide a direct-mailWilliams Sonoma Case study business that distributes millions of catalogs a year and a highly successful e-commerce site? (Williams-Sonoma par. 2). Williams-Sonoma current lines include: Williams-Sonoma Pottery Barn Pottery Barn Kids PB Teen Hold Everything West Elm and William Sonoma Home. (Rouse p. 1 par. 1). If the company continues to grow and delve into other innovations and markets it will have large market shares within the next five years. Due to the nationwide economic decline the company may suffer or face some difficulties caused by its high prices that only target the wealthier. Consumers may began to be more conservative in their spending and looking towards cheaper home good alternatives such as the competitors listed in the case study: Crate & Barrel Restoration Hardware Pier 1 Imports and The Bombay. If the company continues to focus on its current stores it will be successful in the next five year. Focusing on bringing in products that also complement outside of the 10% wealthy consumer (Rouse p. 5par. 4) will bring Williams-Sonoma more customers and more profits. Williams-Sonoma can quickly accomplish these goal through campaigning and using its website as the main avenue for advertising more affordable products. Williams-Sonoma should focus on its current lines with strong branding reputation with a broader costumer base. References Rouse M. M. (2005). Internet Mini Case Study #6: Williams-Sonoma. Retrieved from Pearson Higher Education http://www.pearsonhighered.com/wheelen/cases.html. Wheelen T. L. & Hunger J. D. (2010). Concepts in strategic management and business policy (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Williams-Sonoma. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/about-us.html?cm_type=fnav 2. If you were the CEO of William-Sonoma what strategies would you recommend and why? As the CEO of William-Sonoma I would first suggest having a line of home and kitchen products that are set with a lower price point. Many customers cannot afford the products that Williams-Sonoma sells. Since Williams-Sonoma current lines all target the wealthier audience incorporating a line with more economical prices would be a great way to expand. This will target and attract a whole new audience and bring in more customers. I would also suggest having a line specifically geared towards college students. Currently there is a subset of the PB teen line titled dorms. This market is very prominent in terms of housewares needs. College students leave home and have the need for household and kitchen goods. This is also a great target market because many students going to college or in college have part time jobs and can afford to purchase good with their own money. Along with the creation of this college student line I would suggest that the prices be affordable for the working student as well. Your average student cannot afford high end goods and is not looking for high end goods either. The last strategy I would suggest is focusing on the products and lines that Williams-Sonoma already has. As I browsed the website and read the case study I have found that the company is involved in many different markets and has several retail segments and concepts. This makes it difficult for a consumer to under the brand and recognize it as a reputable company. Due to the fact that the company offers so many different products it is probably not the average consumers first thought to go to Williams-Sonoma for home good products. Williams-Sonoma needs to continue to improve the products and concepts that are already in place. References Rouse M. M. (2005). Internet Mini Case Study #6: Williams-Sonoma. Retrieved from Pearson Higher Education http://www.pearsonhighered.com/wheelen/cases.html. Williams-Sonoma. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/about-us.html?cm_type=fnav 3. Describe the competitive strategies used by each of Williams-Sonoma?s competitors. Which of these strategies are the most effective? Support your answer. According to Rouse?s internet mini case (2005) Williams-Sonoma has several competitors. Crate & Barrel is known for designing beautiful store displays that are difficult to copy and focused on finding products from smaller factories that consumers could afford it markets nationwide via catalogs and it website (p.5 par. 3). Restoration Hardware sells high dollar vintage style home furniture similar to Pottery Barn. Restoration Hardware ?whimsical nostalgia? theme is one of its biggest sellers. It targets upscale customers similar to Williams-Sonoma. Another competitor is Pier 1 Import who offers a variety of furniture decorative home furnishings dining and kitchen goods bath and bedding and other home specialties. In 2003 Pier 1 Imports operated 1015 stores in the U.S and many more outside of the country this is well over the amount of Williams- Sonoma stores and all of its competitors. Pier 1 is in places such as the U.K. Mexico Puerto Rico and partners with Sear?s department store (p. 6. Par. 1). The Bombay Company emphasizes on traditional wall decorum and accessories. The company has 415 stores as well as 46 outlets stores. The company viewed the outlets as an opportunity to increase sales to a different customer base (p. 6 par. 2). The Door Store is private and has nine locations in only New York New Jersey and Connecticut and sells case goods and upholstered furniture. It competes directly with Pottery Barn. The company?s strategy is to anticipate trends make quality furniture for style conscious customers at to good to be true? prices (p. 6 par. 3). Rolling Pins Kitchen Emporium is another competitor that is a privately held company who sells kitchen and housewares items. It is regionally based in Arkansas and its surrounding states but also markets nationwide via catalog and web site. The Rolling Pin competes directly with Williams-Sonoma (p. 6 par. 4). Based on numbers of stores the most effective strategies is that of Pier 1.Peir 1 has a globally conscious marketing strategy that focuses on the different decor worldwide and brings it into the products they sell. Pier 1 is a truly international company offering and having store worldwide. Williams-Sonoma could also benefit on The Bombay Company?s outlet store strategy. This strategy could help Williams-Sonoma attract a new audience and help get rid of clearance and excessive products. References Rouse M. M. (2005). Internet Mini Case Study #6: Williams-Sonoma. Retrieved from Pearson Higher Education http://www.pearsonhighered.com/wheelen/cases.html. Williams-Sonoma. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/about-us.html?cm_type=fnav 4. How is Williams-Sonoma using the Internet as a distribution channel now and how would you recommend that they use the Internet in the future? The Williams- Sonoma website is used very well in terms of being informative creative and attractive. The distribution channel of the website is great. The website distributes and caters to customers in the Americas Europe and Asia. It also has a separate website for Australia. Once you click on the country you reside and will be shipping to the website automatically switches to that nation?s currency. For example if you select Germany the price of the items will be in Euros. You also have the option to select what currency you would like to see as well. The website also has a location where you can directly track your purchase directly on the website not through a third party service or mail carries. All of these tools and options are all great for customer service and distribution. It is clear that Williams-Sonoma uses e-commerce as a very important marketing tool. Personally the website is very busy. I would suggest to somehow down size the amount of options and information on the home page and tabs. Customer can be easily overwhelmed when visiting the website. To prevent this Williams-Sonoma should probably create a separate website for each continent they cater to like they have done for Australia. I think the site would benefit from having a site for Europe and Asia separate for the already established Americas website. References Rouse M. M. (2005). Internet Mini Case Study #6: Williams-Sonoma. Retrieved from Pearson Higher Education http://www.pearsonhighered.com/wheelen/cases.html. Williams-Sonoma. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/about-us.html?cm_type=fnav http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/about-us.html?cm_type=fnav Paragraph 2 Rouse M. M. (2005). Internet Mini Case Study #6: Williams-Sonoma. Retrieved from Pearson Higher Education http://www.pearsonhighered.com/wheelen/cases.html.”
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