Williams-Sonoma opens design center, dining experience in Atlanta

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) is opening a showroom that features a dedicated design center at the Ponce City Market in Atlanta. The store has a direct entrance to a restaurant by chef Jonathan Waxman and is the eighth location to include a home showroom.

A glass wall separates the retail store and the restaurant so guests can view the dining room, become part of the culinary experience, and simultaneously lend inspiration while they shop. The floor plan is a first for Williams-Sonoma. 

"The partnership we've established with Jamestown for our Ponce City Market store is unprecedented," Williams-Sonoma President Janet Hayes said. "This location represents a shared vision for a completely new retail experience that brings together the community to shop, cook, dine and be entertained. We're thrilled with the opportunity to collaborate with chef Jonathan Waxman as well on his restaurant and for the excitement he will bring to our culinary program here."

The new retail store is 6,500 sq. ft. and the design center offers complimentary design services, including a complete selection of custom fabrics, swatches of wood finishes and rug samples. Every Saturday guests can attend free technique classes at the 12-seat cooking island in the center of the store, and young aspiring cooks can attend a cooking class every Sunday.

West Elm, a brand of parent company Williams-Sonoma, also recently opened a design studio in Brooklyn, New York. The West Elm Makers Studio is a workspace that houses more than a dozen artists, designers and craftsmen who develop West Elm products.

Both Williams-Sonoma and West Elm have been beefing up their omnichannel strategies lately. Digital has played an important role in this transformation, as 51 percent of the retailer's revenue came from online sales in 2014.

For more:
-See this Williams-Sonoma press release

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