Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE:WSM) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Mar 14, 2018 • 05:00 pm ET


Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE:WSM) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Welcome to the Williams-Sonoma Incorporated Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2017 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will conduct the question-and-answer session after the presentation. This call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the call over to Elise Wang, Vice President of Investor Relations to discuss non-GAAP financial measures and forward-looking statements. Please go ahead.

Elise Wang

Thank you, James. Good afternoon. This call should be considered in conjunction with the press release that we issued earlier today. Our discussion today will relate to results and guidance based on certain non-GAAP measures. A reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures and our explanation of why the non-GAAP financial measures may be useful are discussed in Exhibit 1 of our press release.

This call also contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which address the financial conditions, results of operations, business initiatives, trends, guidance, growth plans and prospects of the Company in 2018 and beyond and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Please refer to the Company's current press release and SEC filings, including the most recent 10-K for more information on these risks and uncertainties. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this call.

I will now turn the conference call over to Laura Alber, our President and Chief Executive Officer. Thank you.

Laura Alber

Good afternoon, and thank you all for joining us. With me today are Julie Whalen, our Chief Financial Officer; Yasir Anwar, our Chief Technology Officer; and Felix Carbullido, our Chief Marketing Officer. In 2017, we made significant progress against our strategic priorities to strengthen our competitive advantages and drive accelerated growth. As a result, we saw new customer growth, improved traffic and conversion and accelerated revenue growth in both retail and e-commerce. We ended the year as one of the few retailers of our scale to consistently deliver sustainable top line growth, bottom line profitability and robust cash flow. In 2018, we will aggressively pursue significant growth opportunities across all areas of the business and particularly, in our global operations and new business initiatives which have demonstrated significant potential.

We'll also continue to strategically invest in digital advertising, technology and our customer experience while driving efficiencies and cost savings throughout our business. We are confident in our strategies and our proven track record to further extend our leadership in home furnishings and housewares industry in 2018 and beyond. In the context of our overall performance and plans for 2018 and given the benefits of the recent tax reform, we have made the decision to invest in our associates and our customers and in our returns to our shareholders. We'll be raising the hourly wage for associates to $12 per hour in the United States and