Boston, MA, 03/18/2014 – The U.S. homewares retailer Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) which owns Pottery Barn Kinds, West Elm and Pottery Barn, has ambitions of increasing its retail presence in Australia. Thus, the company plans to open eight new store locations in the country this year. The company is apparently the latest among a growing list of foreign retailers which are trooping into Australia to take advantage of the market’s robust environment.
Other foreign store departments which are already having significant presence in Australia include Zara, Topshop, Uniqlo, Marks & Spencer and H&M. Combined, foreign stores operating in Australia are expected to open more than 100 new store locations in the next two years.
Largest market outside the U.S.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) has already achieved something remarkable in Australia. And it seems the management of the homewares is convinced the business model they have adopted in the market is a winning formula. Australia currently ranks as the largest market for Williams-Sonoma outside of the North America. This is due to the company’s strong brand recognition and vibrant e-commerce platform.
Last year Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) established two stores in Australia. Thus, the additional eight stores this year will quickly and effectively bolster its presence in the market. It is somehow easier for Williams-Sonoma to penetrate the Australia market because many of its homeware brands have long been popular with Australian shoppers.
Success and opportunity
Oversees retails have registered compelling success in Australia. Many of the latest entrants into land-based department store operations in Australia are seeking to replicate the success of Spanish fashion store Zara and Topshop of U.K. which have been very successful in the market.
The fashion and department store business in Australia is worth more than $37 billion. Thus, foreign stores are putting their best foot forward to gain from this fat spending pool. Yet, there are also challenges to confront in the market. The challenges are such as intense competition from offshore online-based stores and also getting store location sites in attractive places.