"We learned very quickly that we had no idea what we were doing." That's how Meredith Mahoney, senior director and general manager of Birch Lane, a home décor brand that's part of formerly online-only Wayfair Inc., bluntly assessed the company's start in the catalog industry. Tasked with starting a brand from scratch in seven months, Mahoney and her team at Birch Lane learned on the fly — and self-admittedly made some mistakes in the process. However, what's emerged is a growing brand that's positioned itself for future success.
Home furnishings and housewares retailer Williams-Sonoma is enjoying profitable growth in a competitive marketplace. What's its secret? Pat Connolly, chief strategy and business development officer for the San Francisco-based company, provided some insight into that question for the audience at NEMOA's directXchange Fall Conference in Groton, Conn. yesterday. Specifically, Connolly outlined six beliefs that Williams-Sonoma holds as integral to its success.