Pier 1 says customer traffic better
Fort Worth, Texas Pier 1 Imports said that same-store sales rose 9.9% in September as customer traffic improved.
The company said merchandise margins also improved as it marked down fewer items and sold less inventory at clearance prices.
Pier 1 also said that if its stock price continues to improve, it could terminate the conversion rights of those holding 9 cents of the company’s convertible notes that were issued in the second quarter, lessening dilution for current stockholders. So far, $15 million of $61.2 million in bonds have been converted into about six million shares.
“Although it is still early in the quarter, we have seen nothing to indicate that recent sales and traffic trends will not continue,” said president and CEO Alex Smith. “As we head into November and December, we feel confident about our inventory level and our ability to manage it with significantly less markdowns than last year, resulting in continued improvements to merchandise margins on a year-over-year basis.”
Tuesday Morning 1Q comps suffer, expects loss
DALLAS Tuesday Morning reported net sales for the first quarter 2009 were $165.9 million compared with $173.4 million for the quarter ended Sept.30, 2008, a decrease of 4.3%. Comparable-store sales for the quarter decreased by 5.8%, comprised of a 1.7% decrease in traffic and a 4.1% decrease in average ticket.
Based on the first quarter sales results, the Company currently expects the loss per share for the first quarter to be in the range of 11 cents to 13 cents. The loss per share was 10 cents for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.
“Credit and housing woes continued to impact the discretionary spending behavior of our customers,” said Kathleen Mason, president and CEO. “The quarter started slowly during the ‘cash for clunkers’ program, but picked up in September. Our trend in comparable store sales and customer traffic continued to improve. We successfully managed inventory and kept expenses in line with revenues. Our balance sheet improved with low usage and high availability on our line of credit.”
There is hope for home
The home category continues to face its share of challenges on the demand side, something Target knows all too well. However, there is business to be had and profits to be made, as category leader Bed Bath & Beyond proved last week. The company beat analysts’ earnings estimates by four cents a share, when it reported a second quarter profit of 52 cents a share on sales that increased a modest 3.3% to slightly more than $1.9 billion. Same-store sales declined 0.6%. Bed Bath & Beyond is a beneficiary of the recession, as it saw its major direct competitor, Linens ‘N Things, eliminated.