Williams-Sonoma gains Bourne, loses “Taste”

Along with the news of its spectacular third-quarter numbers—including a 287% surge in net income—kitchen and home products cataloger/retailer Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM) also announced it has hired Randy Bourne as senior vice president/general merchandise manager of its Hold Everything brand. Bourne had been president of photographic gifts and accessories catalog Exposures, a company he founded in 1986 and sold to gifts cataloger Miles Kimball in 1992.

The San Francisco-based company, whose titles include Pottery Barn and Chambers, also reported that it will cease publication of its “Taste” magazine after the fall 2002 edition. The two-year-old consumer lifestyle publication apparently does not meet Williams-Sonoma’s long-term return objectives.

In other company news, Williams-Sonoma plans to continue to branch out with its West Elm concept, a middle-market home furnishings catalog launched in April. The marketer will “substantially increase” the catalog’s circulation for the fourth quarter, as well as launch a West Elm Website in 2003, and open retail stores for the brand in fall 2004.

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