Pier 1 Casts Line Into Catalogs

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Home decor retailer Pier 1 Imports begins testing a catalog in select markets this fall.

The book, which is being designed in-house, will feature several household items available in its stores. Some oversized merchandise that is sold only at 11 Pier 1 locations also will be included.

With weak same-store sales in its first fiscal quarter ending May 29, the Fort Worth, TX, chain has acknowledged it is seeking a boost.

"We are developing strategies, both near- and longer-term, designed to drive customer traffic, increase conversion rates and gain market share," Pier 1 chairman/CEO Marvin J. Girouard said in a statement last month.

A catalog will offer another channel through which consumers can buy Pier 1 merchandise, spokeswoman Merriane Roth said. Its stores and Web site are the only sales channels at present.

"Customers shop in many ways," said Roth, who noted that the company is pleased with the site's performance.

Pier 1's catalog also is expected to be a great marketing tool, Roth said.

"Ultimately, we do want people to come into our stores," she said.

In other company news, it was reported recently that Pier 1 ended its relationship with Warren, MI, ad agency Campbell-Ewald, which created a campaign featuring designer Thom Filicia from the hit cable television series "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," which appears on Bravo. Filicia will continue as a spokesman for Pier 1.

The company reported fiscal first-quarter sales of $432 million, up 7.3 percent from the previous year. But comparable-store sales declined 1.8 percent in that period.


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