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New CRM application to speed retailer's response to trends

SAS, the market leader in business intelligence, has announced that Williams-Sonoma, Inc., (NYSE: WSM), has rolled out a new application that will form the building block for its future customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives. Powered by SAS, this application will give Williams-Sonoma a significant edge over competitors in terms of ability to respond rapidly to changes in the market and to be more effective in allocating marketing resources.

Business drivers behind the application include rising postal costs and increasing pressure to find more efficient ways of marketing to customers without adding more resources. The need to keep up with emerging trends was also a significant factor.

"The emergence of the Internet as a new channel brought with it a whole new source of information, and we discovered that our existing data mining infrastructure wasn't flexible enough to meet the demands of our growing multi-channel business," said Maureen Holbrow Martin, director of database marketing at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. "Now we feel confident in our ability to adapt to new changes in the environment, and believe we will be more effective in determining how we allocate our marketing resources."

The application's first phase will use SAS' data mining software to manage the modelling infrastructure that will drive more than 270 million catalogues in 2002. By using SAS to build 100 to 120 different models to match the right catalogue to the right customer, Williams-Sonoma expects to see a considerable reduction in advertising costs. Phase Two of the project will incorporate email campaigns and increased personalisation of catalogue mailings. Williams-Sonoma chose SAS to power the CRM application because of its strong analytic capabilities.

"We discovered that the in-depth statistical capabilities of SAS are stronger than those of some of the other players in the market," said Martin. "We were also familiar with the power of SAS, as we are already using SAS to generate business intelligence. So, based on our knowledge and trust in SAS, it was a pretty easy decision to choose SAS' data mining software for our new application. We've projected some strong ROI as a result of this application and the next few months will be very exciting as we begin to see the fruits of our labour."

About Williams-Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a national specialty retailer of high quality products for the home. These products are marketed through more than 420 retail stores, seven mail order catalogues (Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Bed + Bath, Pottery Barn Kids, Hold Everything, Chambers and West Elm), and eCommerce Web sites at, and . The company is headquartered in San Francisco.

About SAS

SAS is the market leader in providing a new generation of business intelligence software and services that create true enterprise intelligence. SAS solutions are used at more than 38,000 sites - including 99 of the top 100 businesses on the Fortune 500 - to develop more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers; to enable better, more accurate and informed decisions; and to drive organisations forward. SAS is the only vendor that completely integrates leading data warehousing, analytics and traditional BI applications to create intelligence from massive amounts of data. For 25 years, SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know(tm).

For further information, please contact the team at the SAS press office on:
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7841 5738, fax:+44 (0)20 7240 1910 or e-mail

For more information on SAS, please visit

SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. (r) indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright (c) 2002 SAS Institute

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