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In 2000, Williams-Sonoma’s anemic online sales made for a case study in how not to approach the web. Today, under CEO Laura Alber, the home goods giant is one of the country’s biggest e-tailers. Williams-Sonoma does roughly half of its nearly $5 billion in annual sales online, helped along—somewhat ­improbably—by its buzzy brick-and-mortar business. Alber has promoted in-store events, like book signings and panini-making classes, and this year will add 11 stores to the company’s fast-growing West Elm brand, which has racked up double-digit growth since Alber became the boss in 2010. The company’s stock has soared by 235% over the past five years. —A.V.