Pier 1 talks of plans for turnaround

FORT WORTH , Texas — Pier 1 Imports sees more, larger stores with less clutter — along with new and better placed advertising — as keys to improving the company’s sales performance.

Cary Turner, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Pier 1 Imports, said, “We know what it’s going to take to turn this ship around,” during a presentation at the SG Cowen Consumer Conference today.

Turner said the company is in the midst of a sku-rationalization project that will see distinct offerings reduced from about 4,500 to 3,500. “We feel the stores will look better with less,” he said. The final goal, he said, is a sku reduction in the 5 to 7 percent range.

While reducing the number of items, Pier 1 wants to increase its number of stores, hoping to eventually have 1,500 in the United States and Canada . The company ended the third quarter with 1,137 stores in North America . Basic stores average between 10,000 and 12,000 square feet, while large stores range from 15,000 to 20,000 square feet.

In terms of location, the company “loves suburbia,” Turner said. “We don’t loveManhattan. It’s very difficult to run a store inManhattan.”

Pier 1 also is in the midst of revamping its advertising, Turner said. "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" design expert Thom Filicia’s ads, “did well in print, but we don’t think the message came across in television that (Pier 1) is a good place to do shopping for the home,” he explained.

The company has since hired Deutsch Inc. and OMD Midwest to work on a new marketing campaign that is slated to launch in March.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

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