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Pier I Imports Q1 loss widens; looks to fall brand relaunch

Pier I Imports’ strategy for relaunching its faltering brand can’t come soon enough.

The retailer reported a net loss of $28.5 million, or thirty-six cents per share, for the period ended June 2, compared to a loss of $3 million for the year-ago period. Its performance beat the Street.

Net sales decreased 9.2% to $371.9 million, less than expected. Same-store sales fell 8.2%.

“We unveiled our three-year strategic plan in April 2018, at which point we laid out our expectations for the first quarter, full year fiscal 2019 and our overall three-year plan,” said Alasdair James, president and CEO. “Our first quarter performance was in line with those expectations. One quarter into our three-year journey, we are on track with execution and preparing for the re-launch of the Pier 1 brand this fall.”

The plan, called “Pier 1 2021: A New Day,” features a number of initiatives and organizational changes to drive growth, including targeting niche groups of consumers, shaper pricing, and creating a more compelling shopping experience through enhanced merchandising and messaging. It also involves new marketing strategies to support the retailer’s new brand positioning – ‘Pier 1: This is me.’

Pier I operated 997 stores at the end of the quarter, down 19 from last year.

In related news, a Dallas federal judge dismissed an employee retirement plan's securities fraud case against Pier 1, saying it hadn't proved that the retailer knowingly mislead investors about inventory issues, reported
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