Pier 1 Returning to E-commerce with Site-to-Store Model

Three years after abandoning its direct business, home furnishings and decor retailer Pier 1 Imports plans to sell merchandise online again next year with a site-to-store model.

Plans are underway to post all of Pier 1 Imports SKUs online by Sept. 1, according to company spokesperson Kelly Keenum. The merchant will likely launch the site-to-store model sometime in 2011, she says.

Once the process is in place, “customers will be able to go online, check inventory at their local store, reserve the item, and then pick it up and pay for it in-store,” Keenum says.

Pier 1 Imports announced in June 2007 it was shuttering its three-year-old catalog and its seven-year-old e-commerce site. The company has continued to mail store-traffic builder books, but it has no immediate plans to bring back a direct mail catalog, Keenum says.

“We utilize our current direct mail pieces as a way to inspire our customers to come in store to shop,” she says. “We are currently working to upgrade the pre-shopping and marketing experience for our customers on Pier1.com.”

The site-to-store model will allow Pier 1 “to leverage our store base without any of the complexities around online payment or fulfillment,” Keenum says. “We believe this is a natural and low-risk extension of our business reach and brand.”

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