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Pier 1 Imports sales better than expected


Customers responded favorably to holiday promotions at Pier 1 during the fourth quarter and the retailer is poised for an even better spring now that it plans a return to TV advertising.

The Texas-based home furnishings retailer reported relatively flat same store sales for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 27 (it had expected a decrease of 2% to 4%) as more shoppers were drawn to its holiday assortment. Total sales for the fourth quarter decreased approximately 1.3% (down about 0.4% on a constant currency basis) compared to the same period a year ago. E-commerce sales represented approximately 14.7% of total sales in the fourth quarter. Earnings per share was 18 cents to 22 cents.

"Our preliminary top line results were slightly higher than our previous guidance and reflect positive customer response to our holiday and seasonal assortments, as well as increased promotional and clearance activity during the period,” said Alex W. Smith, president and CEO.

Total sales for fiscal 2016 were up approximately 0.3% (increasing about 1.3% on a constant currency basis) compared to the prior fiscal year. E-commerce sales represented approximately 16% of total sales in fiscal 2016. Same-store sales, which includes e-commerce, increased approximately 0.6%, which compares favorably against prior guidance of approximately flat growth to fiscal 2015. Fiscal 2016 earnings per share is expected to be in line with prior guidance of 42 to 46 cents per share.

“We made important progress bringing inventories in line during the second half of the year and ended fiscal 2016 with inventory levels down approximately 15%, which positions us to improve upon both our in-store merchandising and our supply chain execution going forward. We’re also pleased with our ongoing cost containment efforts, which will continue to be a priority in fiscal 2017. The spring selling season is underway and we are enthusiastic about our fresh assortments and expanded marketing programs, including a return to television in April. We look forward to reporting our full results and also providing expectations for fiscal 2017 on our earnings call in April,” added Smith.

Pier 1 Imports Inc. operates more than 1,000 Pier 1 Imports stores in North America today, including stores in all 50 states and across Canada.

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