History of Pier 1
Pier 1 Imports is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, operating 1000 stores in 49 states, Mexico and Canada. Merchandise includes candles and accessories, picture frames, furniture, home décor, rugs and textiles, and dining and tableware from over 50 countries including India, China, Thailand, the Philippines and Mexico. The style is casual and eclectic.
Pier 1 Imports began in 1962 in San Mateo, California. Charles Tandy and Luther Henderson bought into the financially distressed discount rattan furniture store Cost Plus and began expanding the concept into a chain of stores. Tandy bough low-cost imported items that could be marked up substantially but still be affordable enough to appeal to young American consumers. Several stores opened between 1962 and 1965, featuring jewelry, brass items, textiles, candles, incense, furniture and clothing from India, Mexico, the Philippines and Thailand. In 1966 Henderson bought out Tandy’s shares and changed the name to Pier 1 Imports. Tandy left the company to concentrate on developing his Radio Shack business.
Additional outlets were established; by 1969 there were 42 stores nationwide. In 1970 the company went public, listed first on the American Stock Exchange, and subsequently, the New York Stock Exchange. Stores were opened in several European countries including Belgium, France and Britain. By 1973, Pier I Imports had sales of $68 million.
As inflation began to erode the power of the dollar, imports became more expensive which affected the company. Competition from the original Cost Plus store and more upscale import stores such as Pottery Barn lured customers away and affected profits. By the late-1970’s, Pier 1 had to reassess its market niche and reevaluate its customer base. Several changes in management over several years attempted to reestablish Pier 1’s market by providing quality goods and reaching out to former loyal patrons. These strategies were effective. By 1989 the company had 550 outlets and its profits were up.
Pier 1 reaffirmed its commitment to its loyal customers by resisting the trend to enlarge and create warehouse stores. Its various outlets remain warm, moderately-sized stores that have interesting and well-displayed merchandise from all over the world.
Pier 1 has several charitable giving programs. It has been a partner with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) since 1992, selling greeting cards in the store and donating proceeds from these cards. Almost 28 million dollars has been raised through Pier 1’s various UNICEF initiatives. Pier 1 Imports also contributes to the United Way of Tarrant County and participates in the Adopt-a-School program. In addition, it has a separate giving program that focuses on the Tarrant County/Fort Worth area, its home base.
Get Promotional Discounts, Deals, and Coupon Codes for Pier 1
Pier 1 Imports offers coupons to customers through several means. Advertisements in weekly sections of local newspapers provide a major source of coupons. Customers can be notified of special offers and printable coupons by signing up for the Pier 1 newsletter and e-mail alerts Pier 1 also offers its own credit card, the Preferred Customer Card, with a Rewards program. This program gives four points for every eligible dollar spent. After accumulation of 2000 points, a $20 rewards coupon is given. Notification is by e-mail or post with the monthly statement. In-store discounts and multiple point schemes are also given during periods featuring special offers for Pier 1 card holders. Pier 1 also offers a service for interior designers, Design Concepts, which provides previews of new merchandise and discounts on purchases.