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Billy Reid Brings Southern Style to Williams Sonoma

Known for his Southern-style fashion designs, in-demand CFDA award-winner Billy Reid lends his “lived-in luxury” aesthetic to a new line of homewares for Williams Sonoma as the holiday entertaining season gets underway.

The line includes bar tools, glassware, cocktail napkins, linens, an oyster knife and an apron, inspired by the elegant yet welcoming hospitality of Reid’s mother with touches of the designer’s style. Pops of copper, wood and leather appear on various products, handcrafted glassware is mouth-blown, and the apron is made of durable denim. The line is priced from $14.95 to $96.95.

“With this capsule we wanted to meld Williams Sonoma’s expertise in bar tools with the Billy Reid aesthetic to create a compelling collection that I hope people will want to welcome into their homes,” the Gibson collaborator said. “Our shops are built around a residential philosophy which includes entertaining and hospitality, and Williams Sonoma does that better than just about anyone.” 

The partnership with Reid is the latest in a long line of collaborations for Williams Sonoma, with lines by everyone from celebrity chefs such as Ina Garten and Bobby Flay to collections from floral designer Jeff Leatham and wallpaper company Morris & Co.

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“We love collaborating with designers that bring a unique point of view to our assortment,” said Felix Carbullido, president, Williams Sonoma. “Billy Reid’s passion for details and the quality of the construction of his clothing designs are truly reflected in the incredible products he has created for Williams Sonoma.” 

Billy Reid x Williams Sonoma

The launch comes on the heels of parent company Williams Sonoma Inc.’s third-quarter earnings report last week. The Pottery Barn parent’s comp revenue increased 8.1 percent with a two-year comp of 25.0 percent and a three-year comp of almost 50 percent. The company also saw record EPS growth of 12 percent over 2021 to $3.72 per share.

“These results reflect the continuation of backlog order fulfillment, strong product margins and disciplined cost control,” said Laura Alber, president and CEO, Williams Sonoma Inc.

While comp revenue increased, gross margins dropped for the company to a rate of 41.5 percent, 220 basis points below 2021. The company pointed to higher shipping and freight costs with a merchandise margin flat to last year and occupancy deleverage of 30 basis points as the driver of the decline. Occupancy costs increased 10.5 percent to $202 million.

SG&A was 26.0 percent, leveraging 160 basis points on a GAAP basis and 150 basis points on a non-GAAP basis, reflecting employment and advertising leverage. Operating income was $340 million, increasing 2.8 percent on a GAAP basis and 2.0 percent on a non-GAAP basis, with operating margin of 15.5 percent.

Looking forward, the company reiterated its fiscal year 2022 guidance of mid-to-high single digit annual net revenue growth and operating margins relatively in-line with fiscal year 2021 operating margin.

“In summary, we are conscious that the home furnishings market may contract due to macro factors,” Alber told Wall Street analysts during a conference call. “If this happens, we believe we are uniquely positioned to take market share, even if there is a downturn, and here’s why. We built a company of loved brands with a shared platform of competitive differentiators that leads the industry, in-house design, digital first but not digital-only platform and our value. We have identified opportunities for growth through strategic initiatives like B2B, global end marketplace where we have the opportunity to disrupt. And finally, we have a culture of innovation and an experienced team who knows how to increase operational efficiencies and control costs while protecting service and driving new growth opportunities.”