Williams-Sonoma was established in 1956 by Chuck Williams in — where else? — Sonoma, California. It began as a single retail store selling European cookware that was not found anywhere in the United States at the time. The store quickly gained a reputation for having a large selection of gourmet food items and specialty cookbooks, which it is still well-known for today. Williams-Sonoma has become a household name in the upscale home goods category, selling kitchenware, gourmet goods, and other kitchen accessories. In 2012, the store also launched Williams-Sonoma Home, which sells decor items, lighting, and furniture.
In 1983, Williams-Sonoma took ownership of Pottery Barn, and today it is also the parent company to Pottery Barn Kids, PBTeen, west elm, Mark & Graham, and Rejuvenation — all of which are in the home goods sector. Williams-Sonoma is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and has stores throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, the Republic of Korea, and Kuwait. The company’s goods can be bought in retail stores, via e-commerce on its website, and through catalog sales. Williams-Sonoma offers both an electronic catalog and a print catalog.
Table of Contents
- How to request a Williams-Sonoma catalog
- How much does the Williams-Sonoma catalog cost?
- How does one subscribe to the catalog to get each new edition automatically?
- What makes the Williams-Sonoma catalog so good
- Who can request the catalog?
- Are there any restrictions on requesting the catalog?
- Why you should request the Williams-Sonoma catalog
- How to view and shop the catalog online
- Other ways to shop Williams-Sonoma
- How often is a new catalog released?
- Does the catalog showcase full displays or just individual products?
- Similar catalogs to Williams-Sonoma
- Williams-Sonoma’s annual sales volume
Related: My 18 favorite furniture catalogs
How to request a Williams-Sonoma catalog
Williams-Sonoma produces an electronic catalog as well as a traditional paper catalog. If you would like to receive a paper catalog, request one here. After selecting the catalog(s) you would like to receive by mail, you will need to enter your full name, mailing address, and email address, then submit the form. From there, a new window will appear thanking you for requesting a catalog and stating that it will arrive within a few weeks.
Note: The catalog request form is the same for Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Bed + Bath, and west elm. You can request any or all of those catalogs using the same request form found here.
How much does the Williams-Sonoma catalog cost?
Requesting the Williams-Sonoma print catalog doesn’t cost anything at all, ever.
How does one subscribe to the catalog to get each new edition automatically?
Once you have requested a Williams-Sonoma catalog by mail using the request form, you are on the mailing list indefinitely and will automatically receive each new edition that is produced.
Should you wish to be removed from the Williams-Sonoma mailing list and not receive any future catalogs, you simply need to contact the company with your request. You can reach them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (800) 840-2591 Monday through Friday at 5:00 am – 9:00 pm PST and Saturdays and Sundays from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm PST.
What makes the Williams-Sonoma catalog so good
The Williams-Sonoma catalog is exceptionally well-curated, highlighting not just available items for sale but showcasing all of the different ways in which the items can be used. It is put together to show the reader why he or she needs these items in their home and how exactly the items can be used, from which room of the house to other items that will complement it. The photography and layouts are spectacular and truly make the items look great.
Williams-Sonoma spends a lot — a lot — to wow customers and draw them in via their catalogs. Financial reports showed that the company’s total advertising costs, which include its catalogs, topped $333 million in 2018. That’s a significant 13 percent of its e-commerce revenue for the year.
The print catalogs are glossy and large, with hundreds of pages to flip through. They are items that will likely remain in your home for weeks if not months, being thumbed through when you’re sitting watching television, have a few minutes of downtime and want to get cozy, or when you’re feeling inspired — or feeling like you need to be inspired. With items ranging in price from just a couple dollars to into the thousands and for every room of the house, there is truly something for everyone in the Williams-Sonoma catalog. Whether you are looking for a small hostess gift idea or want to splurge on a high-end kitchen item, this catalog fills that need perfectly.
Who can request the catalog?
Anyone can request the Williams-Sonoma catalog, whether as a consumer or as a professional in the home industry. There are no minimum criteria that need to be met in order to receive the catalog.
Are there any restrictions on requesting the catalog?
The Williams-Sonoma print catalog can only be mailed to addresses within the United States and U.S. territories, as well as to APO/FPO addresses. If you do not live in the United States or have an APO/FPO mailing address, you will unfortunately not be able to receive the catalog by mail.
Why you should request the Williams-Sonoma catalog
The primary reason everyone should request the Williams-Sonoma catalog is that it essentially puts the entire store in your hands. As you flip through it, you are able to see a tremendous amount of the company’s merchandise, both brand new items and those that are tried-and-true best sellers.
It’s much more than just the items, though. The Williams-Sonoma catalog provides an editorial experience, a more comprehensive and tactile shopping experience all around. Instead of looking at a website where item descriptions typically include a plain, stock image, the Williams-Sonoma print catalog displays items in use and even gives tips on how to best use it. A good example is showing a cake pan on its own, then with a finished, freshly-baked cake made in the pan and offering a few baking tips. This is a great way to get inspiration for things around the house, whether it’s a new decorating project or trying a new style of cooking.
Receiving the catalog by mail also gives you a sneak peek at new and seasonal items not yet available in retail stores or online.
If you still need to be convinced as to why you should get the Williams-Sonoma catalog, mailing list subscribers occasionally get exclusive discounts and coupons.
How to view and shop the catalog online
Williams-Sonoma publishes its entire catalogs on its website. To view the current e-catalog, along with several past editions, click here. The e-catalogs are interactive so readers can virtually “flip” through them page by page and shop individual items or collections. As you browse through the online catalog, items available to purchase are indicated with a plus sign. If you hover over that plus sign, a link reading “View product” pops up and will take you to the product page once you click on it.
Other ways to shop Williams-Sonoma
In addition to shopping via the catalog, you can shop at Williams-Sonoma via its many retail store locations, its e-commerce website, or by calling customer service at (877) 812-6235. The store also offers a Buy Online, Pick Up in Store option.
For catalog shoppers, Catalog Quick Shop allows you to browse the print catalog and then place your order online quickly and easily. From the Williams-Sonoma homepage, simply enter the item number from the catalog and you will be taken to the item’s product information page, where you can learn more and make your purchase.
How often is a new catalog released?
Willams-Sonoma produces and releases new editions of their catalogs several times throughout the year. Every couple of months there is a catalog released with a title such as Williams Sonoma April 2019. The company also releases a catalog for each of the four seasons and supplemental catalogs as well, including a Thanksgiving edition, its well-known holiday issue, and various gift guides.
Does the catalog showcase full displays or just individual products?
Not only does the Williams-Sonoma print catalog show individual items, but it also showcases elaborate scenes in beautiful editorial layouts. This highlights not only the product features but many different ways to use it and how it can integrate into your own home. For example, in a Thanksgiving issue of the catalog Williams-Sonoma printed their entire Test Kitchen Turkey Day menu and included several pages of photographs taking the reader through every course of the menu. It feels more like flipping through a magazine than browsing items for sale. There was a fully decked-out table set up for the holiday to display the dinnerware available for purchase, a well-stocked pantry to highlight items such as Williams-Sonoma’s turkey brine and steamed whole chestnuts, and close-ups of intricately-decorated pies to showcase pie dishes and pie punches readers could buy.
Similar catalogs to Williams-Sonoma
While Williams-Sonoma is a powerhouse in the upscale home goods category, there are some similar stores that produce print catalogs. Here is a list of some of the best five available.
- Crate & Barrel – This store specializes in housewares, home accessories, and furniture. It releases a monthly catalog as well as a Crate&kids version and seasonal gift guide editions.
- Restoration Hardware – The upscale retail company sells home goods with an emphasis on furniture, tableware, lighting, and decor accents. Restoration Hardware’s catalogs are called Source Books and they are specialized, with editions focusing on just rugs, outdoor living, and teen home items.
- Pier 1 Imports – Pier 1 specializes in imported home goods such as seasonal decor, tableware, and furniture. The company releases a monthly print catalog, as well as an accompanying e-catalog.
- Wayfair – This online-only retailer sells everything for the home, with an emphasis on all types of furniture, kitchenware, and decor items. Wayfair’s catalog is released seasonally, with titles such as Early Spring 2019 and Fall/Winter 2019.
- Plow & Hearth – As its name implies, Plow & Hearth specializes in fireplace and hearth accessories but also sells items for the home as well as lawn and garden. The store produces its print catalog seasonally and it can be shopped online as well.
For a complete list of all the top home design and furniture mail-order catalogs, take a look at this page.
Williams-Sonoma’s annual sales volume
Financial reports show that the 2019 annual revenue for Williams-Sonoma was $5.67 billion, which was a 7.17% increase over 2018. Approximately $2.52 billion of those sales came from e-commerce revenue, which includes catalog sales. The company’s annual revenue has increased year-over-year consecutively since 2005.