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Pier 1 December sales disappoint, cuts forecasts

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 9, 2014 at 6:52 am •  Published: January 9, 2014

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Pier 1 Imports Inc. said Thursday that its sales at stores open at least a year rose 1.3 percent for the five weeks ended Jan. 4, but that the figure dropped when accounting for a calendar shift.

The home decor company cut its fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year earnings forecasts, citing what it called its disappointing December performance.

Pier 1 said that there was an extra week in fiscal 2013. Prior to adjusting for the calendar shift, Pier 1 said that sales at stores open at least a year fell 5.7 percent in fiscal December, compared with an 8.2 percent increase for the prior-year period.

President and CEO Alex Smith said in a statement that the company was "extremely disappointed" in its performance, particularly given its strong sales over Black Friday weekend. Smith said that bad winter weather in the first half of December hurt Pier 1's performance for the rest of that month and into January.

Smith said online sales remained strong, making up about 4 percent of total sales in fiscal December. The company's web site averaged 2.2 million visitors per week in December.

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