Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE:PIR) on Sept. 20 announced preliminary financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2019 ended Sept. 1. On a preliminary basis, the company said it expects comparable sales to decrease approximately 11.4 percent compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2018 and a fiscal 2019 second quarter loss per share in the range of $0.62 to $0.64.
The company’s stock fell 10 percent in overnight trading after the announcement.
“We are disappointed in our results for the second quarter, which primarily reflect execution challenges as we prepared for and implemented our August brand re-launch,” said Alasdair James, president and CEO. “We are in the very early stages of the multi-year ‘New Day’ strategic plan we announced in April, and while we remain confident that our plan is the right course for Pier 1, it is now clear that our initiatives are taking longer than expected to gain traction. Our marketing program did not drive the level of traffic we had anticipated, and we experienced delays in getting certain new products into our stores.
“Although we now expect sales to turn positive and accelerate later than planned, we are encouraged by early signs of improvement in some of our key customer metrics in recent weeks, including conversion and growth in new, retained and reactivated customers. We also continue to receive positive feedback from customers about our new store environment. Our team has been working tirelessly to implement our ‘New Day’ strategic plan, but there are clearly areas where we need to sharpen our execution moving forward.”
In the news release, company officials said that, given that it is taking more time for Pier 1’s ‘New Day’ initiatives to take hold, the company is discontinuing its fiscal 2019 guidance at this time. Pier 1 expects to continue providing commentary on its forward-looking business trends on its quarterly earnings calls.
“We continue to see fiscal 2019 as a pivotal year of investment and transition,” said James. “We are refining key initiatives as needed to better communicate Pier 1’s improved value and deliver a greater level of newness to the customer. Importantly, we are continuing to make progress toward capturing operating efficiencies through initiatives around pricing and promotion, inventory optimization and sourcing and supply chain. Our top priority over the coming months is to take the steps needed to drive long-term growth and profitability.”