International retail giant Williams-Sonoma is opening a new cluster of stores on Sydney’s North Shore this week that will be a mixture of retail outlet, cooking school and design studio.
The four brands under the Williams-Sonoma umbrella —Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm — will open in Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre this Thursday.
The North American retailer opened its first Australian stores in Bondi Junction in May 2013, followed by home furnishing store West Elm in Melbourne. The business has found success grouping its brands together like a miniature department store, but counts each brand as a separate store.
The four new Chatswood stores will occupy a combined retail space of 1,716 square metres and employ approximately 120 full time, part time and casual staff.
A further four stores (Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm) will open in Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne during late 2014.
“We are excited to continue our global expansion in Australia at Chatswood Chase Sydney Shopping Centre,” said Laura Alber, president and CEO, Williams-Sonoma. “We look forward to sharing our exceptional home furnishings along with unique in-store experiences and outstanding customer service with customers on Sydney’s North Shore who want to decorate, entertain and live well.”
With the arrival and expansion of this international retailer comes competition not just on a retail level, but in marketing events and experiences that add to the brand’s value.
Predominately a homewares retailer, Williams-Sonoma stocks a carefully selected range of upmarket appliances from brands such as Breville, Vitamix and Cuisinart. To complete its full lifestyle offering, the Chatswood store will feature a full calendar of classes, as well as, tastings and demonstrations conducted by expert culinary staff. The space will also host book signings and artisans’ markets showcasing local artisanal products.
Another service the business is offering is an in-store design studio in Pottery Barn where customers can discuss their furniture and decorating needs and plan their space with trained associates. The West Elm store will offer complimentary design consultations and space planning sessions, working closely with customers to help define their design needs and personal style at home.
Pottery Barn Kids will host a range of children’s events, such as a Halloween carnival, tea parties and pajama parties.