Updated Pier 1 Imports logo
Pier 1 Imports Inc. is a Fort Worth, Texas–based omnichannel retailer specializing in imported home furnishings and decor, particularly furniture, table-top items, decorative accessories, and seasonal decor. It is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker PIR. According to its investor relations website, "Our image is quirky, and our logo is iconic" and describes itself as "ever-original, ever-evolving".
The first Pier 1 Imports store opened in San Mateo, California, in 1962. According to the company's official history, the original store catered to hippy baby boomers and featured love beads and incense.
By 1966, Pier 1 had grown to 16 store locations, and established its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.
Pier 1 went public on the American Stock Exchange in 1970 and later joined the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. At this time, the company had grown to 123 stores, posted 100 percent sales gains for four consecutive years, and opened stores internationally in Australia and Europe. A Pier 1 store in Royal Oak, Michigan, reached annual sales of $1 million in 1979. By 1985, the Pier 1 chain grew to 265 stores, with the management goal of doubling that number by 1990.
On December 29, 2006, Standard & Poor's bumped Pier 1 Imports Inc. down one spot and off the bottom of the S&P MidCap 400 Index when it added Parametric Technology Corp. (NASDAQ: PMTC), a software company. As of December 2012 the company had sales of $418 million.
In April 2008 Chesapeake Energy bought the headquarters of Pier 1 for $104 million.
A Pier 1 Imports store in Oregon
A Pier 1 Imports store, Pittsfield Twp., MI
Pier 1 Headquarters
The chain operates over 1,000 stores under the name Pier 1 Imports in the United States and Canada. The company also had a children's furniture and accessories retail concept in the United States called Pier 1 Kids which was disbanded in September 2007. It was a member of the S&P MidCap 400 list through the end of 2006, when it was bumped off the list.
Pier 1 Imports also owned a chain of home-decor retailers (40 locations as of February 2006) in the United Kingdom called "The Pier" until it was sold to Palli Limited, a subsidiary of the Iceland-based Lagerinn ehf in March 2006 for approximately $15 million. This chain went into Administration in December 2008 and was finally closed in January 2009.
Pier 1 merchandise consists of home furnishings and items including accessories such as candles, vases, and picture frames as well as full-sized upholstered furniture, hand-carved armoires, large-scale vases and eclectic wall décor. Items are imported, created in conjunction with foreign designers, or produced by Pier 1's Trend and Product Development team.
Pier 1 has been a corporate partner of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF since 1985—its longest-running corporate partnership—generating more than $42 million by selling UNICEF greeting cards, cause marketing, and emergency relief for Afghanistan, Haiti, and Iraq, as well as areas affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami.
Former spokespeople for the company, seen largely in broadcast commercials, include Cheers alumna Kirstie Alley and Thom Filicia of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.