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Pier 1 Imports reports loss, emphasizes new focus

Fort Worth, Texas – Pier 1 is focusing much more sharply on its core assets and image, looking to leverage market discipline and a coherent message into a profitable turnaround, the company reported earlier today during its quarterly conference call with analysts.

The 1,000-store home furnishings retailer is on a more aggressive plan to close underperforming stores; has twice as many (34) outlet stores as a year ago to help keep the main stores full of fresh goods; has reined in administrative expenses; sold its U.K. division; cleared out the mix in typically over-merchandised stores; and increased direct-to-consumer efforts with a new catalog.

But the shift impacted the bottom line in 2005. Pier 1 reported net loss of $39.8 million that included an after-tax loss from discontinued operations of $12.3 million. Sales declined 2.7% to $1.78 billion for 2005, and a comp store fell 7.1%.

The fourth quarter showed better results, noted chairman and ceo Marvin Girouard, with sales climbing 0.7% to $506.0 million, and a comp sales drop of 2.9%. However, merchandise margins were down 400 basis points from the year-ago period, and the company reported a net loss of $9.9 million for the quarter.

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