FORT WORTH, Texas-First-quarter sales for Pier 1 Imports rose 7.9 percent to $361 million, according to a preliminary report from the home furnishings retailer.
The sales gain included a pick-up of 7.2 percent in same-store sales, on top of an increase of 10.2 percent in comparable-store sales in last year’s first quarter. The company also said merchandise margins for the quarter, which ended on May 26, are expected to reach 60.2 percent, up 40 basis points from last year. Gross margin is expected to increase 150 basis points to 41.6 percent.
Alex Smith, Pier 1’s president and CEO, attributed the healthy quarter to strong in-store execution and on-target assortments for Easter, spring, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. Looking ahead, Smith said, “The new website and Pier 1 To-You project is entering its final stages. We are on track and will be ready for our launch in late July.”