Case | HBS Case Collection | July 1996

Williams-Sonoma, Inc.--1990

by Nancy F. Koehn and Michael Dearing


Howard Lester, chairman and CEO, has just completed a second offering of common stock in Williams-Sonoma, Inc. ($218.2 million 1989 sales). Having targeted $500 million in retail sales, Lester's challenge is to: 1) prioritize growth investments in five existing catalog and store retailing concepts, and 2) align corporate retailing strategy with internal structure and consumer demand. The case presents historical data on the company, its industry, and competitors to support analysis.

Keywords: Corporate Strategy; Alignment; Customer Value and Value Chain; Competitive Strategy; Retail Industry;


Koehn, Nancy F., and Michael Dearing. "Williams-Sonoma, Inc.--1990." Harvard Business School Case 797-019, July 1996.