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Pier 1 beats record for holiday kick-off

Promotional marketing and e-commerce drove traffic

Fort Worth, Texas - Hitting its all-time sales record for both Black Friday and the full post-Thanksgiving weekend, Pier 1 Imports managed solid third quarter financial results highlighted by strong increases in net income, sales and comps.

For the 13-week period, ended November 30, the company reported a 13.1% increase in net income to $26.8 million, or 26 cents per share.

Total sales rose 9.6% to $465.5 million, and comps inclined 6.9% on top of last year's 7.9% increase thanks to a jump in conversion rate and a higher average ticket.

Year to-date, net income took a 4.1% blow, falling $64.9 million, or 61 cents per share. Sales did better, growing 8.9% to $1.256 billion, and comps climbed 5.5%.

Alex W. Smith, president and ceo, credited enhanced marketing, ramped up e-commerce and a sharper merchandise mix for driving results.

"Our more overtly promotional marketing stance drove strong traffic, and our store and e-commerce teams delivered on conversion," he said.

He noted the company's website, www.Pier1.com, "continues to outperform our expectations," representing over 4% of total sales in the third quarter and reflecting increases in both traffic and conversion.

"In addition, our re-launched and re-branded Express Request program has been a resounding success with our customers and we anticipate this will remain an important growth driver going forward," Smith added.

For the fourth quarter, Pier 1 expects total sales growth in the high single-digit range, with same-store sales growth in the mid single-digit range. It anticipates earnings per share in the range of 60 to 66 cents, representing year-over-year growth of 9% to 20%.

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