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CEO to Retire as Losses Mount at Pier 1 Imports

Marvin Girouard has been with the home-furnishing retailer for 32 years.

October 02, 2006|From the Associated Press

FORT WORTH — The chairman and chief executive of Pier 1 Imports Inc., Marvin Girouard, will retire from the unprofitable home-furnishing retailer and its board early next year, the company said.

Girouard has been at Pier 1 for 32 years, the last seven in his current positions. He will retire Feb. 28.

"I feel that it is time for me to leave in the course of a normal retirement and allow new leadership to emerge and flourish," he said in a statement released Saturday.

His departure comes as Pier 1 tries to emerge from a three-year slump that included losses in five straight quarters and continuous declines in same-store sales -- a widely used gauge in retail performance.

Herbert Mines Associates, a New York-based firm, will lead the search for a new CEO, according to a statement on the Pier 1 website.

Pier 1 recently reported that its fiscal second-quarter loss widened to $73.1 million, or 84 cents a share, from a loss of $10.2 million, or 12 cents, in the year-ago period.

In recent years the company has been squeezed between high-end stores and big-box retailers offering multiethnic merchandise, long found in Pier 1 stores. Once recognized as a niche retailer for its imported goods, Pier 1 lost that identity as it watched other retailers stock their own imported selections, analysts say.

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