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Pier 1 trims sails, closing divisions

Fort Worth, Texas – Pier 1 Imports is cutting back its brand extensions to focus on its core business, eliminating its 24 clearance stores by July 31, the 33 Pier 1 Kids locations by October 31, and the e-commerce and catalog businesses by August 31.

 

“Clearing the decks and focusing on our 1,000-plus stores just seemed to make sense,” explained Alex Smith, president and ceo, during the company’s first quarter earnings call today.

 

“First of all, our catalog and ecommerce are very small, very small businesses in relation to our total business, and we didn’t see them growing in the short term to where they would be more significant. Also, we have an incredible geographic network of stores,” he said.

 

As the company frees up resources from the additional business segments, its emphasis is on improving Pier 1 Imports units with new merchandise and more skus that Smith described as “unique to Pier 1 that sets us apart in the marketplace.” More than 2,000 new skus will flow to stores between now and the end of January 2008; already this month, 350 new skus have been added to the floors.

 

Smith would not specify how the new goods would differ form prior offerings, only to say these items would feature “more handiwork, decoration, and will nod in the direction of the country in which it was made.”

 

The retailer today reported a first quarter loss of $56.4 million, more than twice the size of a year-ago deficit of $23.2 million. Overall sales declined by 5.2%, to $356.4 million from $376.1 million. Same-store sales fell by 5.4%.

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