Deals worth the wait: Williams-Sonoma twice-yearly blowout


Some deals only come around once or twice a year, but offer savings that justify the wait. This post is part of our series on such 'don't miss' sales.

In my house we have two dogs and four cats, along with two adults and two little girls. Because of that, our home has that Sanford & Son aura about it. Our kitchen is decorated in a style that I believe is called Early American Garage Sale, and the only reason our fancy table linens are monogrammed is because a couple years ago, our daughters practiced writing their initials with some permanent markers.

Anyway, I'm mentioning this because I assume Williams-Sonoma was thinking of families like mine when it began doing their semi-annual blowout sale, which occurs twice a year -- in January and June.

Williams-Sonoma, the high-end cookware purveyor that you'll often see in malls, slashes its prices to something like 75% sometimes, though more commonly items will be half off. Small wonder that blogs devoted to shopping often discuss low prices you can find in kitchen items, linens and decorations. In fact, it may lack the cult following that some stores have, but the 250 Williams-Sonoma stores have its enthusiastic fans.

"Williams-Sonoma is synonymous with quality," concluded one Wisconsin reporter recently when reviewing its line of cookbooks. Yes, that's right, the store has its own cookbooks (and cooking classes can be found in some of its stores). The latest titles are Essentials of Breakfast & Brunch and Essentials of Italian. Another book is called Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook-The Best of Grilling and Outdoor Cooking, and then there's that beloved classic, C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race by Geoff Williams-Sonoma.

I guess I've never mentioned (to anyone) that I'm related to the Williams of Williams-Sonoma. So, yes, if you're the fan of the store, you'll want to pick up my book... but not at Williams-Sonoma, since it's only sold in bookstores.

And if you think I'm making this up, just for some pathetic attempt to boost my sales, well... that hurts. I won't even dignify that suggestion with an answer.

Geoff Williams is a business journalist, primarily for Entrepreneur magazine, and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale). We made some calls to Williams-Sonoma. They've never heard of him.

Originally published