Pier 1 “Disappointing” December Comps Up 1.3 Percent

Pier 1FORT WORTH, Texas-In a result President and CEO Alex Smith described as disappointing, Pier 1 Imports posted a 1.3 percent gain in same-store sales for five week period ending on Jan. 4.

Smith said the results were especially discouraging considering that Pier 1 began the holiday selling season with a record post-Thanksgiving weekend. “This disruption caused by wintry weather in the first half of December … continued to impact us throughout the balance of the month and into January,” he said. “Store traffic in key markets was significantly affected by adverse weather in fiscal December, with the majority of the days concerned falling on our all-important weekends.”

The weather trumped what Smith described as “excellent” holiday assortments and first-class execution both in store and online. “A strong balance of regular and promotional pricing, together with our customer engagement strategies, drove increased conversion and average ticket during the month, making the best of soft store traffic,” he said.

Smith added that Pier 1’s e-commerce business continues to outperform the company’s expectations, accounting for about 4 percent of the company’s total December sales. He noted that the sales contribution from pier1.com was substantially higher in the weather-affected areas, and reflected the increased importance of the company’s omnichannel strategy, 1 Pier 1.