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Pier 1 pleased with 3Q sales

Retail Editor 4 -- Home Textiles Today, December 1, 2011

Fort Worth, Texas - Pier 1 Imports' same-store sales climbed 7% and its merchandise margins improved in the third quarter ended Nov. 26.
The Top 100 company also boosted its estimated earnings per share for the quarter to 20-21 cents, from a previous estimate of 18 cents.
The same-store gain was on top of a 10.2% increase in the third quarter of 2010. Total sales for the most recent quarter increased 8.2% to $383 million compared to $354 million in the year-ago quarter, the company said.
Same-store sales for the first nine months increased 9.2%. Total sales were up 9% to $1.057 billion from $970 million a year earlier.
The company said the same-store gain in the third quarter was driven primarily by increases in traffic and average ticket. Merchandise margins for the quarter will be about 60% of sales, up from last year's third quarter margin of 58.9%.
"We are very pleased with our third quarter," said Alex Smith, president and ceo. "Our strong assortments and the right balance between regular and promotional pricing drove strong sales and merchandise margin growth."
He said Thanksgiving weekend was "excellent with comp store sales for our three-day event increasing 10% from last year. This was achieved with modest levels of discount - further testament to the quality of our product offering and store experience."
Pier 1 will report its full quarterly financial results Dec. 15.

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