Pier 1 Reports Solid Quarter

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - Crediting improvements in traffic and average ticket as well as strength in all merchandise categories, Pier 1 Imports logged positive growth during the third quarter.
     Net income for the third quarter ended Nov. 26 rose 9.5% to $23.0 million, or 21 cents per share. Sales were up 8.2% to $382.7 million, and comparable store sales increased 7.0%.
     Year-to-date results were led by a 25% increase in net income to $53.7 million, or 47 cents per share. Sales for the first nine months climbed 9.0% to $1.057 billion, and comps were up 9.2%.
     "December sales so far are strong and we expect this trend to continue for the final ten days leading up to Christmas," said Alex Smith, president and ceo.
     He added that operating margins and sales per retail square foot "continue to grow."
     Pier 1's recently launched "Pier 1 To-Go" program, which allows customers to order online and pick-up and pay in-store, "is positively impacting top line sales," Smith said.
     On Cyber Monday alone, Pier1-To-Go contributed 2% of sales for the day - "a good result," he said. To date, the program has drawn nearly 20% more unique visitors to the company's site than at this time last, with 1.2 million unique visitors each week since Thanksgiving weekend - a record.
     Next summer, Pier 1 will launch its Pier 1 To-You ecommerce site, which is expected "to add significantly to sales and our bottom line," said Smith.

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