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Pier 1 Imports provides third quarter update

Pier 1 Imports said today it expects comparable store sales to increase in the range of 8% to 10% for the third quarter ending Nov. 27. Last year's comp store sales for the third quarter increased 13.7%.

The company is hosting a store event for shareholders and members of the buy- and sell-side analyst community today at the Pier 1 Imports store located at 71 Fifth Ave. in New York, during which members of the management team will provide a general update on the retailer's business.

In anticipation of this event, the company said in a statement that it continues to see positive trends with increases in traffic, conversion and average ticket for the first two months of the third quarter. Merchandise margins for the third quarter are expected to be approximately 58% of sales compared to last year's third quarter merchandise margins of 56.6% of sales.

"We are pleased with our strong September and October sales results, which are on top of strong sales last year," President and CEO Alex Smith said. "We believe this momentum will continue throughout the holiday selling season. As always, we are very diligent with controlling costs. However, to capitalize on and maintain the strong traffic and seek to maximize sales, we have added approximately $3 million of additional store payroll and marketing in the third quarter. We are upbeat on the start of our holiday selling season and look forward to the couple of months that lie ahead."

The company will announce fiscal 2011 third quarter sales on Dec. 2, 2010.

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