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World Market - The history
In 1958, World Market opened its first store at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, California. Founder William Amthor saw San Franciscans loved imported discount retail merchandise when he sold some unique rattan furniture. Amthor ran a small family-owned furniture store in San Francisco at the time, but rather than displaying the rattan furniture in his store, and he rented 4,000 square feet of warehouse space in the Fisherman's Wharf area of San Francisco. The rattan furniture sold fast, convincing Amthor to begin importing merchandise as a new business. He started his first store dedicated exclusively to imported merchandise later in 1958 and began importing wicker by the shipload.
After the success of this store, they soon spread across the Bay Area and later into other states. There are 276 stores spread across 35 states in the United States.
"Cost Plus" shifted the branding of its stores to either World Market or to simply World Market in markets new to the brand in the 1990s. World Market went public and started trading on the NASDAQ stock market In 1996.
In Feb. 2006, Cost Plus announced quarterly earnings of $125 million, with $367 million in revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2006. Their annual earnings were $280 million with over $800 million in revenue. Bed Bath & Beyond acquired Cost Plus in 2012.
World Market started an online crowdsourcing-model marketplace called Craft by World Market in 2014. The site will post items for one month at a time, and sell only products that have a definite number of pre-orders to ensure enough customers will buy them.