Sale of Credit Card Business Could Be On Deck for Pier 1

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Pier 1 Imports Inc. is considering selling its proprietary credit card business in an effort to enhance shareholder value, the Fort Worth, TX-based multichannel merchant said yesterday.

Pier 1 has retained JPMorgan to evaluate strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. In addition to the sale of the credit card business, that could include a review of its store portfolio and the possible sale of other assets, the company said in a statement yesterday.

At the same time, Pier 1 said that sales for the four-week period ended April 29 decreased 8.7 percent for a total of $112 million. Same-store sales dropped 11.5 percent.

The company will distribute its summer catalog this month to 12 million customers as part of an overall marketing strategy intended to increase store traffic and sales. Pier 1 has been steadily increasing its catalog circulation, which started at 100,000 last year during the test phase and climbed to 3 million last fall.

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