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Williams-Sonoma - The history

Charles E. Williams settled in Sonoma, California in the year 1947, where he opened his first hardware store. In 1953, he took his first trip to France, where he fell in love with French kitchenware such as copper cookware, and he was quoted saying “I knew this was something that wasn’t found in America but thought my people would want.” After his return home, he started the importation of French cooking and serving equipment into the United States and converted his hardware store into a cooking store in 1956. The company Williams-Sonoma was established, selling restaurant-quality and professional kitchenware for home use. Until date, Chucks Williams is recognized as one of the titans of the United States food revolution.

As of 2009, the company was running 610 stores with annual revenue of over $3 billion. The company acquired Portland, Oregon-based Rejuvenation, Inc., a manufacturer and direct marketer of light fixtures and hardware with stores in Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles. In November 2012, the company started a lifestyle brand offering personalized products, Mark and Graham.

Williams-Sonoma started a store at the site of its original location in Sonoma, California, in 2014. On October 2, 2014, the founder of Williams-Sonoma celebrated his 99th birthday on the store's opening. The company's e-commerce sales were approximately 52 percent of Williams-Sonoma, Inc.'s revenue for the first quarter of 2015. The company maintains over 600 stores in Australia, North America, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East.