Pier 1 Could Be Launching a New, Urban-Focused Store

Pier 1 Could Be Launching a New, Urban-Focused Store

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Tara Bellucci
Jun 30, 2017
(Image credit: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock)

If you haven't been in a Pier 1 Imports store recently, the company has some news that will hopefully lure you back. The retailer is reportedly considering launching a second brand.

The Texas based wicker wonderland recently brought on former Kmart CEO Alistair James as their new chief executive on May 1, and he told analysts on Wednesday that the company may need to open a new concept to appeal to younger customers, reports the Star-Telegram.

"The business has been hovering around sub-$2 billion (in sales) for the past several years and we absolutely have the opportunity to go well beyond that," James said on the call. "Our next chapter will need to be about how we double the size of the business."

Pier 1's core customers are roughly 50 years old with annual household incomes over $100,000, and James said various trials are underway at stores around the country, including some to "see what we need to have for an urban customer that is more oriented towards apartment living than suburban larger home living."

The company is currently weighing its options, with James mentioning that a new brand, sub-brand or even an acquisition could be possible. "I'm not ruling anything out at the moment."

This isn't the first time an established brand has started a new one. In February, TJX companies, who owns off price retailers HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Sierra Trading Post, mentioned they'd be opening a new home store concept. It was recently announced that they're bringing their international version, HomeSense, to the US, opening the first locations in late summer.

If they decide to go the new brand route, Pier 1 will likely follow TJX's lead. "The approach will be to differentiate these two home concepts to encourage customers to shop both stores," TJX's CEO Ernie Herrman said in February, which is how the company has grown its T.J. Maxx and Marshalls businesses in the United States.

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