Online sales grew by 23% year over year during the first quarter at Pier 1 to $99.3 million.

Home furnishings retail chain Pier 1 Imports Inc. will expand its online product offerings and test new online promotional strategies in an effort to continue online sales growth.

 

Pier 1, No. 120 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, reported that online accounted for 24.2% of total sales during the first quarter of its fiscal 2018, or $99.3 million, up 23.1% from $80.7 million a year ago. Last year, e-commerce accounted for 19.3% of its sales. Meanwhile, total sales declined 2.1% year over year during the quarter ended May 27.

Alasdair James, who took over as CEO on May 1, replacing Alex Smith who left at the end of 2016, told analysts on the call that shoppers can expect to see more products online in the near future.

“Key areas of focus [online] include increasing our assortment breadth and using machine-learning tools to better target our promotional investments to our customers,” James said.

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Soon, James said, he no longer will be the newest member of the retailer’s C-suite, as Pier 1 will soon announce a new chief information officer. He didn’t name the executive but said, “he will come to the organization with lots of knowledge of artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital online pure-play stuff as well as retail,” James said.

For the first quarter ended May 27, Pier 1 reported:

  • Net sales of $409.5 million, down 2.1% from $418.4 million during the same time last year.
  • Comparable sales were flat year over year.
  • A net loss of $3.0 million, compared with a $6.0 million loss.
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