Upmarket US home furnishing and cookware chain Williams-Sonoma, owner of Pottery Barn, is plotting its entry into the UK next year.

The retail group, which has 560 stores in the US and Canada, has appointed Harper Dennis Hobbs in the past week and plans to open its first store in the first half of next year according to The Independent.

Williams-Sonoma is eyeing a London debut and is understood to want shops sized between 5,000 sq ft and 8,000 sq ft.

The retail group operates 255 eponymous stores, 180 Pottery Barn and 90 Pottery Barn Kids stores and is likely to compete with John Lewis, Lakeland and The White Company.

The group grew pre-tax profits by 9.2 per cent to $323.1m (£198.4m) on sales of $3.5bn (£2.14bn), for the year to January 30, 2011.

Fellow US homewares giant Crate & Barrel is also plotting its UK debut.