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Pier 1 comps tank 12 percent

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Pier 1 today stated that slow customer response to its three-month-old advertising campaign left store traffic sparse during its first fiscal quarter of 2006, resulting in a comp-store decline of 12 percent.

The company also reported a net loss of $12.5 million or 14 cents per share. Total sales declined 6.1 percent to $406 million from $432 million last year.During the company’s conference call today, Marvin Girouard, chairman and CEO, stated that second quarter earnings would come in between a 3 cent gain to a 7 cent loss per share.“Our financial guidance is dependent upon the continuation of improvement in customer traffic,” he said.Pier 1, he added, is planning a carrying out a brand-awareness survey this week to determine the success of its nascent advertising campaign, to be followed by exit interviews and focus group discussions. Girouard said the company will evaluate that data over the next 30 to 60 days.

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