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Pier 1 building base with younger consumers

New York — Although bed and bath accounts for 17 percent of total company revenues, Pier 1 is developing a loyal and younger customer due to its target marketing programs.

"We know our customers," said Cary Turner, senior vp, cfo of the Ft. Worth, TX-based home furnishings specialty retailer. The company breaks out its merchandising approach in terms of trend, style and basic, Turner told the Lehman Brothers retail seminar here earlier this week. "In trend, we introduce new ideas. In style, which is 60 percent of the mix, these are winners from trend. And basic is our opening-price-point merchandise, everyday in-stock items."

While the core customer for Pier 1 is age 18 to 49, "we see an increase in the younger segment," Turner said. One of the ways the company attracts these customers is through an ever-changing product mix. "We change assortments 66 percent each year."

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