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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

“We Believe We Have Stability”

You wouldn’t expect much out of Williams-Sonoma these days.

What with the evaporation of high-paying Wall Street jobs and the kind of buyer who can afford to spend $635 on a chafing dish—which calls to mind one of the best moments in movie history, from Hot Shots!, no less—not to mention the evaporation of low-paying manufacturing jobs and the disappearance of that so-called “aspirational buyer,” you wouldn’t think there would be much of a market for the kind of foofy, “consumer discretionary” items Williams-Sonoma, and its Pottery Barn affiliate, are famous for.

Yet all good economic cycles must, eventually, end: even the bad ones. And if this down-cycle is ever going to start to turn back up, it has to first stop going down.

So we were intrigued to hear on the company’s conference call this morning the following from Sharon McCollam, the Williams-Sonoma COO:

What we would say about the current environment is we believe we have stability and we are seeing the October/November trend be our baseline. We see it’s volatile. But that’s what we’re seeing.

Now, whether Williams-Sonoma is an appropriate thermometer to measure the health of the American consumer may be debatable.

But at least the patient’s fever looks like it might—might—have stopped going up.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up

© 2009 NotMakingThisUp, LLC

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice. It should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever. Nor are these comments meant to be a solicitation of business in any way: such inquiries will not be responded to. This content is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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