Pier 1 Taking Business Back Online
One of the first things that Alex Smith did when he took
over as CEO of Pier 1 Imports was shut down the company’s website. "It
was horrible," he
told attendees at the company’s annual shareholder meeting this week.
years into Mr. Smith’s tenure at Pier 1 and things are looking up. The retailer
posted a profit in the first quarter (its first in six years) and same-store
sales were up 14.3 percent during the period.
"We not only survived the recession, we survived it stronger and fitter," said
Mr. Smith. "We are virtually debt-free with cash in the bank."
now, Pier 1 is ready to go back online. Mr. Smith said the company plans
to launch a site-to-store option in September. Consumers would go online to
choose an item and then pick it up at one of the company’s 1,050 stores in
the U.S. and Canada.
Taking this route, according to Mr. Smith, allows the
company to offer the convenience of online ordering without having to develop
the infrastructure needed to properly manage a consumer-direct operation.
Smith doesn’t believe that Pier 1’s online reentry will be a negative for the
"The pie is still there," he told Dow Jones Newswires. "We
had a very acute business situation that we had to fix. [E-commerce sales were]
de minimus, so we weren’t giving up a whole lot by getting rid of it."
Discussion Questions: What is your assessment of the general direction taken
by Pier 1 Imports? How successful do you expect it to be with its site-to-store
- Pier 1 Imports riding high on robust growth, new look – Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Worth-based Pier 1 Imports to re-enter Web sales with site-to-store model
– The Dallas Morning News
- INTERVIEW: Pier 1 CEO Says Co On Track With Strategy, Performance – Dow
Jones Newswires/The Wall Street Journal