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Pier 1 will "stay the course"

Fort Worth, Texas – Pier 1 Imports said it has been "disappointed" in results during the first three months of its major repositioning initiative, but is committed to "stay the course," said chairman and ceo Marvin Girouard at this morning’s annual shareholders meeting.

Girouard pointed to one positive indicator in the first quarter:

"Sales to interior designers were up 25%," he said, noting, "They are influencers" of trend-buying patterns by general consumers.

Struggling under five consecutive negative quarters, the 1,200-store specialty retailer is aiming at becoming "the value alternative to the higher end retailers." Its current print and television campaign is built around capturing hipness, and uses a cover version of the Grammy-winning 1969 Isley Brothers soul hit "It’s Your Thing."

The chain is carrying better quality goods, stepping up from the mid-price-point market and competing with higher-priced offerings by other home goods retailers. Pier 1 is also in the early stages of developing a direct-to-consumer business, with a new catalog and a small but growing online shopping division.

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