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Retailer Sees Holiday Sales Climb

California and the West

January 13, 2006|From Dow Jones/Associated Press

Williams-Sonoma Inc. on Thursday posted an increase in holiday-season sales but said it would shutter its Hold Everything stores and take a charge in its fiscal fourth quarter.

The home-goods retailer said it would consolidate its Hold Everything brand of closet-organizing items into its other brands. The move leads to a charge of $10 million to $12 million, or 9 cents to 10 cents a share. The company will take all but a penny a share of the charge in its fiscal fourth quarter ending in January, it said.

San Francisco-based Williams-Sonoma also operates the Pottery Barn and West Elm chains and its namesake stores.

The company's shares fell $1.63 to $43.46.

Williams-Sonoma said sales at stores open at least a year rose 4.5% in the eight weeks ended Dec. 25. It held to its fourth-quarter earnings estimate of $1.07 to $1.09 a share, excluding the Hold Everything charge.

It said it was keeping a conservative outlook because 29% of the quarter's sales and 40% of the period's catalog circulation occur in January.

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