Pier 1 Woes Continue as Sales Fall

Fort Worth, Texas Pier 1 Imports Inc. said Thursday same-store sales fell in September as traffic declined, and that it might not meet expectations in the second part of its fiscal year if sales don't pick up.

For the five-week period ended Oct. 4, same-store sales fell 11.7%, mainly due to an 8% decline in traffic in September.

“If we continue to experience traffic levels like those seen in recent weeks, we will not meet the current consensus for earnings expectations for the back half of the fiscal year," said Alex W. Smith, the company’s president and chief executive said in a statement.

Smith said that at the end of August, “the company had $191 million in cash and short-term investments and had $117 million in availability on our line of credit.”

The company has been battling falling sales amid a difficult environment. Last month, Pier 1 posted a worse-than-expected second-quarter loss and withdrew its previous guidance for 2009.

The company lost $30.2 million in the second quarter—a smaller loss than a year ago but greater than Wall Street expected—as it reduced operating expenses. Revenue fell 7% as consumers pulled back and spent less per visit.

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