The retailer accomplished this on the strength of an 8.7 percent pickup in sales, which totaled $327.1 million in the quarter, and which included a 13.7 percent jump in same-store sales. The bottom line was further boosted by a $55.6 million income tax refund.
Pier 1 trimmed 3.2 percent from selling, general and administrative expenses. Cost of goods sold also fell 2.7 percent, and in a Pier 1 statement, Alex Smith, president and chief executive officer, said store traffic and average ticket on sales all rose during the third quarter. “Excellent input margins and lower markdown activity generated the highest merchandise margins in over six years,” Smith said.