FORT WORTH, Texas–Strong increases in both sales and merchandise margins buoyed Pier 1 Imports to a 9.4 percent pickup in net income in its third quarter, to $23 million.
Net sales for the quarter, which ended on Nov. 26, totaled $382.7 million, including a robust 7 percent rise in same-store sales. Alex Smith, Pier 1’s president and CEO, cited the retailer’s “strong product assortments” and “the right balance of regular and promotional pricing” as among the drivers for the sales gain. In addition, Pier 1’s top line got a boost from Pier 1 To-Go, its facility that allows shoppers to order online and pick up and pay at the store.
Thanks to the improvement in merchandise margins, gross margin rose 250 basis points to 43.2 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 8.5 percent on a dollar basis and rose 10 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 33.3 percent.
Smith also noted that December sales for Pier 1 are off to a healthy start, and should remain strong leading up to Christmas. “Our growth plan is on track as we execute our business model with increasing finesse,” he said.