Thursday, April 07, 2005

Drowning at Pier 1

Things are not good for the Ft. Worth retailer. Fourth-quarter profits were down 61%.


Sixty effing one per cent.

Now Target's selling furniture and Pier 1's own execs admit a new ad campaign may take time to attract shoppers.

But if you've seen the new TV spots, you know what Pier 1's problem really is -- they have no personality. After hiding behind ill-chosen celebrity personalities, they're now on their own and all they can think to do is to show stuff. I have a message for sellers of stuff everywhere: I don't need a reason to buy stuff; what I need is a reason to buy stuff from you. Target gives me an aesthetic. Bed Bath & Beyond, who just posted some nice 4th quarter numbers, gives me value and selection. Pier 1 doesn't know what it stands for and by the time they figure it out, no one may care. One analyst put it this way: "'We think investors should be selling this name today' as Pier One has alienated its customer base over the last two years and competition is getting worse. 'Even with a launch of a new ad campaign, Pier 1 is going to have a very difficult time driving traffic into their stores.'" Yikes.

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