Pier 1 FY 4Q13 Earnings Call Notes

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This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. The quotes are generally pieces of information that I find interesting or helpful to understanding the company, industry or economy and are not meant to provide summaries of the full content of the call. Other posts in this series can be found by clicking here. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha.

$PIR Earnings Call Notes

“I am extremely proud of what our team accomplished in fiscal 2013. We achieved all of our short-term goals and, at the same time, successfully laid the foundations and building blocks for long-term success.”

“I think we continue to tell you that with e-Commerce, we’re crawling before we’re walking and running. We really need the new point-of-sale to get us going”

“We continue to add significantly in terms of our buyer headcount. But also this year, we are also investing in incremental management because, if you think about this, we, at the moment, we have in round numbers, we have 6,000 SKUs or thereabouts in our stores, and the buyers have to source, create and manage that number. As we scale out our e-Comm business, that number is going to rise exponentially, and so that we keep the same quality of decision-making and the same focus on great product, we need to add in more folks…But we don’t do this all at once. We’re very judicious and careful and sort of add it throughout the year.”

“the people who visit our website, the 1 million visitors per week that we alluded to, a good percentage of those are store shoppers who are doing their pre-shopping online”

“first of all, the competitive environment is as intense today as it ever was, and I don’t think that’s going to change. There’s a lot of smart people out there running terrific home decor businesses. I’d like to remind you, as I always like to remind everyone, that our market share is very low. It’s sort of 1% to 2%…So in that respect, there’s plenty of room for all of us…Usually, when people copy us, they are pretty poor imitations of the authentic Pier 1 products. So we say, that’s fine. Let them get on with it, and we will continue to drive our creative processes here and make sure that we stay in front. So it’s just a fact of life. You deal with the competition, and we take it as a compliment that people want to copy us.”

[analyst comment] “a lot of retailers have talked about the negative impact from the delay in tax refunds, unseasonably cold weather in March. I found it kind of strange you guys didn’t really discuss that at all. I mean, was that a headwind?”

[pier 1 answer] “Well, no. I mean, we’ve reported that we had an incredibly strong Q4. You saw the numbers. So none of those things were an impact there, and we’re only at the end of month of Q1 of this fiscal year. But as I said in the prepared remarks, we think that — think the year’s got off to a great start. So we’re pretty happy.”

[analyst comment] “you’ve talked in the past about getting up to about 1,100 U.S. stores. I was just wondering if that’s still kind of the goal”

[pier 1 response] “No. I think we’ve used a number of around 1,100 including U.S. and Canada. I mean, that number — and I think you’ve heard us say on prior calls that we’re really not that focused on that discrete number. What we’re seeing, as you can see, we’re opening 30, closing 14 or so. Those 14 are relocations where, by relocating in a market, we’re gaining market share, and that’s what we’re really looking at. I mean, it’s a net of 0. But what we’re seeing is we may be paying 10% more in rent, but we’re seeing a 20% increase in the new store versus the productivity of the old store.”