Pier 1 Struggles With Brand Relaunch As Comps Decline

A relaunch effort has not started the way the company hoped, Pier 1 Imports stated in preliminary financial results for a second quarter that included a comparable sales decrease of 11.4% in the period year over year.

The retailer said it expects a second quarter loss per share to fall in a range of 62 cents to 64 cents.

“We are disappointed in our results for the second quarter, which primarily reflect execution challenges as we prepared for and implemented our August brand relaunch,” said Alasdair James, Pier 1 president and CEO. “We are in the very early stages of the multi-year ‘New Day’ strategic plan we announced in April, and while we remain confident that our plan is the right course for Pier 1, it is now clear that our initiatives are taking longer than expected to gain traction. Our marketing program did not drive the level of traffic we had anticipated, and we experienced delays in getting certain new products into our stores.”

James added that Pier 1 now expects “sales to turn positive and accelerate later than planned, we are encouraged by early signs of improvement in some of our key customer metrics in recent weeks, including conversion and growth in new, retained and reactivated customers. We also continue to receive positive feedback from customers about our new store environment. Our team has been working tirelessly to implement our ‘New Day’ strategic plan, but there are clearly areas where we need to sharpen our execution moving forward.”

“We continue to see fiscal 2019 as a pivotal year of investment and transition,” said James. “We are refining key initiatives as needed to better communicate Pier 1’s improved value and deliver a greater level of newness to the customer. Importantly, we are continuing to make progress toward capturing operating efficiencies through initiatives around pricing and promotion, inventory optimization and sourcing, and supply chain. Our top priority over the coming months is to take the steps needed to drive long-term growth and profitability.”