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Williams-Sonoma's (WSM) West Elm Opens First Store in Iowa

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Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s (WSM - Free Report) West Elm brand announced that it will inaugurate its first store in Iowa’s Des Moines East Village on Sep 28.

With the potential to generate jobs for around 30 people, the store plans on selling a few local products sourced from seven Iowa-based designers and manufacturers along with company-made modern home furnishings and décor. In fact, Williams-Sonoma’s strategy of product regionalization has been driving demand across channels.

Additionally, West Elm will offer a consultation program of cross-brand design to encourage interaction between customers and experts providing designs, installation and registry services.
Moreover, Williams-Sonoma enjoys strong international presence. Other than the United States, the company operates retail stores in Philippines, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and the U.K. The company also has franchised stores in some of the countries in the Middle East.

The widespread operations have not only lent William-Sonoma a scale advantage over its competitors but are expected to drive its top line, amid the challenging U.S. e-commerce and retail business space.

However, soft comparable brand revenues and intensifying competition in the industry have been a hindrance for the company for long. The stock has lost 0.6% year to date as against the industry’s gain of 2.2%.

Nonetheless, strong brand consciousness, focus on innovation as well as various marketing techniques remain the greatest strength for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company. The stock has seen earnings estimates move up 2.4% for the current quarter and 0.8% for the year over the past 60 days.

Stocks to Consider

A few better-ranked stocks in the Retail-Wholesale sector are Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (RH - Free Report) , Aaron's, Inc. (AAN - Free Report) , and Kirkland's, Inc. (KIRK - Free Report) .

Restoration Hardware sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company’s current-year earnings are expected to increase 91.3%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here

Aaron's also flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 with current-year earnings expected to increase 12.3%.

Kirkland's carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company flaunts a solid VGM Score of A.

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