Williams-Sonoma on Wednesday said it is expanding its international wholesale efforts through Pottery Barn Kids. That effort will include shop-in-shops at John Lewis (the largest department store in the United Kingdom) that feature an assortment of furniture and accessories for baby and nursery, according to a press release.
Three Pottery Barn Kids concessions will debut this coming autumn, according to a company press release. It's the company's second European wholesale venture after its 2015 West Elm tie-up with John Lewis, which has grown to include 14 West Elm U.K. locations along with John Lewis' website.
Pottery Barn Kids, owned by Williams Sonoma Inc., also plans to launch a dedicated e-commerce website in the country that would offer a curated selection of items for baby and kids, the company said.
John Lewis has previously been floated as a potential partner for Amazon in the U.K., but so far it's Williams-Sonoma that has established close ties with the British department store stalwart.
Williams-Sonoma earlier this month promised to be aggressive in 2018, and global expansion is part of that. The company has plans to open new West Elm locations in the U.K., both company-owned and with existing partners, CEO Laura Alber told analysts earlier this month.
Elsewhere overseas, the company's franchise partners plan to open more than 20 locations during 2018. Over the next three to five years, Williams-Sonoma plans multi-channel expansions into larger-sized markets, particularly Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, which Alber said have a combined addressable market of approximately $350 billion.
"Currently, we are in active negotiations with potential partners for entry into one of the biggest markets in Asia," she told analysts, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.
At home, the company is expediting the closure of a number of underperforming domestic stores in light of consumers' shift online, though much depends on whether landlords respond to possible closures with lower rents. Overall, globally, the company expects to shutter 30 stores this year (half of them Williams Sonoma stores) and open 20.
The retailer's new Williams Sonoma Home concept will expand, with 24 new locations within Williams Sonoma stores and two standalone stores.