For the third quarter ended November 30, Pier 1 Imports, Inc. announced that total sales jumped 9.6% to $465.5 million, while same-store sales during the quarter increased 6.9% compared with a growth of 7.9% a year ago. However, gross margin narrowed to 43.4% from 43.9% a year ago on higher promotions, the company said.
In addition to boosting its marketing and promotions, Pier 1 is in the midst of an extensive investment period, including adding a new point-of-sale system, increased hiring and training, and a comprehensive omni-channel marketing program.
“We’re pleased to deliver solid third quarter financial results,” stated Alex W. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our unique and special merchandise assortments created a well-positioned value offer that resonated with our customers. Our more overtly promotional marketing stance drove strong traffic, and our store and e-commerce teams delivered on conversion. In fact, this year marked a new, all-time sales record for both Black Friday and the full post-Thanksgiving weekend.”
“We are delighted with the progress we have made with 1 Pier 1 – our omni-channel strategy. Pier1.com continues to outperform our expectations, representing over 4% of total sales in the third quarter, and reflecting increases in both traffic and conversion. In addition, our re-launched and re-branded Express Request program has been a resounding success with our customers and we anticipate this will remain an important growth driver going forward.”
“We feel very good about our positioning and the execution of our holiday plans. Our holiday assortments have been very well received, as have our merchandising, marketing and customer engagement activities. We fully expect to capture additional market share over the holiday period.”
Mr. Smith concluded, “Our Board of Directors and management greatly appreciate the support of Pier 1 Imports’ shareholders and remain committed to returning value to them. During the third quarter we announced a new $200 million share repurchase program, reflecting our confidence in the underlying strength of the business and the significant potential ahead of us. Additionally, we have increased our quarterly cash dividend by 20% to $0.06 per share.”