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May 20, 2006

Pier 1

Analyzing the poor financial standing of GAP, Hot Topic, and Pier 1, CNN says:

Said Johnson, "This is a brand that's very much stuck in the 90s. It sorely needs to reinvent itself with a wholesale rethinking of the brand. I think the existing management is challenged on this front. I think a private equity buyout is a possibility for Pier 1."

[...]

Morningstar analyst Anthony Chukumba said Pier 1 is stuck in a "perfect storm." The merchandise is "just bad," he said. It has too many stores and has saturated its domestic market. It's [sic] advertising lacks direction and its [sic] facing competition from newer players.

Amen.

Kirstie Alley and Mr. Queer Eye Tom couldn't help it because the merchandise sucked. I've moseyed through Pier 1 a couple times when I've been in the neighborhood of one, but there's been very little in the store I'd actually buy. Distressed wooden elephants? Gigantic wicker giraffes? Faux bamboo made of metal tubing? An armoire the size of a '57 Chevy?

I'm not living in Africa nor am I Hemingway, trying to re-create Cuba in my own backyard. I will never have faux elephants or wicker facsimiles of animals in my home. Ever. And I prefer my furniture to be airy and clean, not massive and Baroque.

Now, on the other hand, if I was shopping for a spa or a resort, I'd totally shop at Pier 1. Seeing as how most people live in houses or apartments, though, yeah—Pier 1 was in trouble. They do have a nice selection of candles, and a wide variety of attractive gay cashiers, but I don't think you can run a nationwide retailer on those two products alone.


CNN's story is a little less than timely, however, as Pier 1 has just announced a massive overhaul of their product line. They're selling less imposing, more modern furniture that fits in with what's popular today. And combined with the candles and the gay cashiers? They'll totally make it.

That goes doubly if they start selling the cashiers too.

Posted by Colin at May 20, 2006 2:11 AM

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