FINANCE

Pier 1 has stormy Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Worth, Texas – Snowstorms that affected as many as two-thirds of the selling days in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 in some key markets dampened financial performance at Pier 1 Imports Inc.

Compared to the same period the prior year, net income fell 31% to $42.6 million from $61.7 million. Total sales fell 6% to $515.8 million from $551.6 million and same-store sales dropped 4.6%.

During the full fiscal year 2014, net income declined 17% to $107.5 million from $121.4 million. However, total sales rose 4% to $1.77 billion from $1.7 billion and same-store sales climbed 2.4%.

“Fiscal 2014 was a transformational year for Pier 1 Imports,” said Alex W. Smith, president and CEO. “Through our ‘1 Pier 1’ strategy we have evolved our operating model from a broad and productive portfolio of Pier 1 Imports stores to a true omni-channel retail business. During the year we added new functionality and services to our e-commerce capabilities and began positioning our stores as facilitators and ambassadors for Pier1.com. We are working hard to improve the Pier 1 Imports brand experience in every way – strengthening our store portfolio with new and relocated stores and continually enhancing our ability to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience.”

Pier 1 expects same-store sales growth in the mid-single-digit range for fiscal 2015.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

IBM to acquire Silverpop digital marketing software provider

BY Staff Writer

Armonk, N.Y. — IBM Corp. announced it will acquire digital marketing technology provider Silverpop. The Atlanta-based Silverpop allows marketers to target highly personalized offers and promotions. IBM said the technology will enhance its enterprise marketing capabilities.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Using Silverpop software and services, marketers monitor customer behavior — such as whether a customer commented on a company blog post, viewed a marketing video or talked about the business on Twitter. That data can help fine-tune the messaging.

"The acquisition of Silverpop turbocharges IBM’s ability to put the customer at the center of any organization," said Craig Hayman, general manager, industry cloud solutions, IBM. "Now, nearly any marketing, commerce or customer service professional from any business will have the ability to deliver the kinds of personalized customer experiences that make a measurable impact on the brand experience and the bottom line."

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FINANCE

Zynga names former Best Buy exec as CFO

BY Staff Writer

San Francisco — Zynga Inc. named former Best Buy executive David Lee as CFO, effective April 14, as the online games company and creator of “Farmville” seeks to return to growth. He will replace current CFO Mark Vranesh who has decided to leave the company.

Lee was previously the senior VP of corporate finance, treasury, mergers and acquisitions and corporate strategy at Best Buy.

Vranesh, who joined Zynga in 2008, has held roles of chief financial officer and chief accounting officer. He will work with Lee over the next month before leaving the company.

To regain its financial footing, Zynga has set in motion a turnaround plan, which includes expanded cost savings, led by CEO Don Mattrick.

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