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Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Announces International Expansion Agreement

M.H. Alshaya Co. to Franchise Brands in Middle East

7/29/09 2:00 PDT

Dateline:

SAN FRANCISCO

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
WSM

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM) today announced that it has entered into a multi-year franchise agreement with M.H. Alshaya Co., W.L.L. to launch the company’s portfolio of brands in the Middle East. The first four stores are expected to open in Dubai and Kuwait in 2010 and will include the Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids brands.

“We believe there is a significant opportunity to extend the reach of our brands beyond North America and are thrilled to be doing so with the M. H. Alshaya organization,” said Howard Lester, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. “Alshaya is one of the preeminent retailers in the Middle East and their experience bringing leading retail brands into the region as well as their marketing expertise gives us great confidence in the long-term potential of this growth strategy.”

“We are delighted and honored to have the opportunity to introduce the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands to the Middle East,” said Mohammed Alshaya, Executive Chairman of M.H. Alshaya Co., W.L.L. “Our customers are looking for unique high quality home furnishings, and Williams-Sonoma’s family of brands exemplifies the innovative style, quality, and service they expect.”

ABOUT M.H. ALSHAYA CO., W.L.L.

M.H. Alshaya Co., W.L.L. is a leading international franchise operator for over 50 of the world’s most recognized retail brands. The company operates over 1,700 stores across six divisions with stores in 16 markets across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Cyprus, Russia and Poland. M.H. Alshaya Co. is the retail business of the Alshaya Group, which was founded in Kuwait in 1890.

ABOUT WILLIAMS-SONOMA, INC.

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a specialty retailer of high quality products for the home throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. These products, representing six distinct merchandise strategies – Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma Home – are marketed through 630 stores, seven direct mail catalogs and six e-commerce websites.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they do not fully materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include statements related to the opening of stores in the Middle East and the potential of this growth strategy. The risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include the risk that stores will not open in the Middle East and that this growth strategy will not succeed as we currently expect, and other risks and uncertainties described more fully in our public announcements, reports to shareholders and other documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2009 and all subsequent current reports on Form 8-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Contact:

Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Leigh Oshirak, 415-733-3168
Director, Public Relations
or
Stephen C. Nelson, 415-616-8754
Director, Investor Relations