While the tide of consumer spending has been high over recent months, Pier 1 Imports
Shopping may be hip again, but for some reason, Pier 1 seems to have been left off lists of places to go and things to do. Here at the Fool, we've reported Pier 1's bad news throughout the winter, considering its lackluster third and fourth quarters that still lagged on the profitability side.
Maybe it's just that that huge, scented Pier 1 candle circa 2000 still hasn't burned all the way down yet, but what the heck happened to the Pier 1 shoppers? The company said that it now expects first-quarter earnings of $0.14 to $0.17 per share, a far cry from the old guidance of $0.21 to $0.24 per share. It sees same-store sales flat to down 2%. It also expects merchandise margins to slip to 55.4% to 55.8% from 56.4%, due to factors such as promotional sales and markdowns to hurry slow-moving merchandise out the door.
Overall revenues may have increased 7.7% in April, but same-store sales slipped 1.7%. Pier 1 predicts that May's same-store sales will fall 4% to 6%, which takes into account sales trends as well as a shift of Memorial Day weekend into June.
Many of us were relieved to learn that Pier 1 planned to trade its bewildering Kirstie Alley ads for some with more pop culture clout -- namely, Thom Filicia of the hit show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. So far, though, the new campaign hasn't jump-started sales.
Pier 1 believes expects some improvement due to its "Back-to-School" push in mid-June. However, it's hard to trust that the company will wend its way back to the top of home-decorating wish lists. Indeed, maybe it's time to wonder if home-decorating stops like Bed Bath & Beyond
Although Pier 1 may at some point look like a bargain, it remains in question whether it can spark a renaissance of its previous hipster home-decorating cred. Until those signs return, Pier 1's hardly a tempting investment.
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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any companies mentioned. She really does have a huge, scented Pier 1 candle circa 2000 that still hasn't burned all the way down.