talking heads

Sep 01, 2000 9:30 PM  By

“Has the recent downturn in Internet stocks affected your business?”

I don’t believe we’ve been affected at all, to tell the truth. We see no signs of any change. We’re implementing our Internet strategy, and it’s going according to plan. The Williams-Sonoma site is doing well, the bridal site is doing well, and we have a Pottery Barn bridal site that’s going live in August. That’s all on schedule.

I think it’s affecting the dot-coms, more because of analysts’ concerns and perhaps from customer concerns. The question in the consumers’ minds is likely about the brand. They feel better about a brand they already know and trust, like Williams-Sonoma. That’s probably an advantage the brick-and-mortar companies share. Jerry Owens, Senior VP, Distribution Williams-Sonoma

You mean, has all that depressing information we’ve been hearing had any impact?

Maybe there has been some change, not because of tech companies being overvalued and hyped, but because people have explored the Internet and they are aware of what it offers and satisfied with the level of technology, so they’re not upgrading their equipment. They’re willing to let it be right now. So we can turn the question around and say that the momentum has changed, it is slower than it was a few months ago, and the result is a devaluation of tech companies, which affects us as computer suppliers in turn.

Right now the big brick-and-mortar guys are in the best position: They’re going to clear away the dead bodies, settle the land, and reap the benefits from the pure-plays that didn’t make it. Wes Sumida, CEO Cyberguys!

I haven’t seen any direct effects, although I’m sure there has been some fulfillment business that hasn’t taken place. The stock market downturn has been a reasonable shakedown for businesses that didn’t have any business being in business.

We’re not a big company and we don’t want to be – we’ve just got a 30,000-sq.-ft. warehouse. We made the decision early on to be cautious about e-commerce, and I’m glad. Give me bricks and mortar any time. Barry Lyon, President