Pier 1 Holiday Sales up 11.3% in December

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - Pier 1 Imports said that its same-store sales for the five-week period ended Dec. 31 were up 11.3% from a year earlier.
     The gain was on top of a 10.3% same-store gain in the five weeks ended Jan. 1, 2011. In the past three years, same store sales have grown a cumulative 30.2%, the Fort Worth based retailer said.
     "Our December comp store sales increase of 11.3%, on top of last year's comp store sales increase of 10.3%, was primarily driven by increases in traffic and average ticket," said Alex Smith, president and ceo.
     "The strong sales trend during the first half of the month continued through the final days leading up to Christmas and the week thereafter, with strength throughout every geographic region of the country. Merchandise margins remained strong in December with good sell-through of our holiday assortments," Smith said.
     He added that merchandise margins for the fourth quarter are expected to be about 59% of sales.
     "As we end our seasonal clearance event, we are very excited about our new spring product, which is now arriving in stores," Smith said.
     Pier 1's fiscal fourth quarter ends Feb. 25, and the company plans to report financial results March 1.

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