Williams-Sonoma Inc WSM
Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 05/20/2010

Operator: Welcome to the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. First Quarter 2010 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will conduct a question-and-answer session after the presentation. This conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the call over to Steve Nelson, Director of Investor Relations, to discuss non-GAAP measures and forward-looking statements.

Stephen C. Nelson - Director, IR: Good morning. This morning’s conference call should be considered in conjunction with the press release that we issued earlier today. Our press releases and this call contain non-GAAP financial measures that exclude the impact of unusual business events. These non-GAAP financial measures are provided to facilitate meaningful year-over-year comparisons, a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures, and an explanation of why these non-GAAP financial measures are useful are discussed in Exhibit 1 of the earnings press release.

The forward-looking statements included in this morning’s call constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements address the financial condition, results of operations, business initiatives, guidance, growth plans, and prospects of the Company in 2010 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 releases and SEC filings for more information on these risks and uncertainties. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that may arise after this call.

I will now turn the conference call over to Howard Lester, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

W. Howard Lester - Chairman of the Board and CEO: Good morning and thank you for joining us. With me today is Laura Alber, our next CEO, Pat Connolly our Chief Marketing Officer and Sharon L. McCollam, our Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer.

I’d like to begin today by sharing with you my perspective on the strength of our operating results in the first quarter and then I’ll turn the call over to Sharon and Laura for more details on the quarter and the balance of the year. But before I begin, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you who have supported us here at William-Sonoma over the past 30 years.

As I approach my retirement next week, I cannot help but reflect on the contribution that so many have made to our collective success. First and foremost, I want to thank our associates, who have dedicated their careers to building our dreams and serving our customers. I’d also like to thank our supply chain partners, our landlords, and our service providers, who all have contributed as well. Then, of course, there are all of you our, shareholders.

What’s amazing to me now is that as much as it has been a joy and an honor to lead this great Company, I am finding equal joy in watching the people who have been crucial to building it over the past decades, take to helm. While it is so bitter sweet to step away, I am doing so at a time when our management team, led by Laura, has never been stronger and our future has never been brighter.

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