Pier 1 Imports CEO to Step Down
Pier 1 Imports CEO Alex Smith is leaving at the end of the year. In a statement, Pier 1 announced the transition plan was a mutual decision between Smith and the company's board of directors. Smith, who has been CEO since 2007, led the company in a large turnaround between 2008 to 2013. However, due to saturation in the market and the onset of multiple furniture e-tailers in the last few years, Pier 1 has seen a decline in sales. The Star Telegram reports Pier 1's profits declined nearly 50 percent last year, and in its first fiscal quarter of 2016, sales decreased by 4.3 percent.
Total Retail's Take: Furniture and home decor is a retail vertical that's seen a lot of change over the last decade, mostly due to e-commerce and the rise of mobile and tablets. Smith's early tenure at Pier 1 was excellent, but the rise of e-commerce caught up with the retailer. At the beginning of his career at Pier 1, Smith shuttered Pier 1's e-commerce site and reallocated funds to refreshing its merchandise, expanding fulfillment centers and opening brick-and-mortar stores. The company relaunched e-commerce in 2013, but at that point the rapidly growing home sector was already saturated.