August 23, 2012, 4:49 PM

Pier 1 Imports relaunches e-commerce

The retailer aims to generate 10% of its sales online by 2016. 

Lead Photo

A screenshot from the new e-commerce site.

Furniture and home décor chain retailer Pier 1 Imports has relaunched its transactional e-commerce site at Pier1.com. In recent years, the chain had used that web site to showcase goods available through its 971 U.S. retail stores.

Pier 1 had exited e-commerce in 2007 as part of a cost-cutting measure that also closed some stores. At the time, Pier1.com had direct sales, comprised largely of web sales, of $18.9 million. When it shut down its online store in 2007, the retailer ranked No. 298 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

The retailer calls its new online shopping site “Pier 1 To-You.” Goods sold on the site are available for shipping only to addresses in the continental United States.  The new e-commerce site operates on Demandware Inc.’s e-commerce platform. Demandware provides e-commerce platform services to 21 e-retailers listed in the Internet Retailer Top 500 and Second 500 Guides. The Pier 1 site also uses Jagged Peak’s Edge services for order management and inventory. Terms listed on Pier1.com show that shipping costs start at $4.95 and increase based on total order value. Consumers can expect delivery in 5-7 days and no expedited shipping options are available.

Pier 1 began developing its second foray into e-commerce last summer, when it began making available online live inventory data for some products. With its “Pier 1 To-Go” ship-to-store program, consumers were able to shop and pay for those products online, and then went to a Pier 1 location to pick them up. Purchases made through Pier 1 To-Go were fulfilled from existing store inventory. Pier 1 To-Go continues to be a shopping option.

Pier 1 Imports relaunches its online housewares and home furnishings store at a time when the web is already crowded with similar merchants. 24 chain retailers selling housewares and home furnishings in North America are ranked among the top 1000 web stores, collectively generating more than $2.8 billion in online sales, according to Internet Retailer estimates. The housewares/home furnishings category retail chain leader on the web is Williams-Sonoma Inc., which generated $1.41 billion in web sales last year. It began selling online in 1999.

Earlier this year, Pier 1 Imports president and CEO Alex W. Smith said he expected 10% of total revenue to come through the chain’s online operations by fiscal 2016. For the year ended Feb. 28, Pier 1 Imports had total of revenue of approximately $1.53 billion; that total includes sales from stores outside the United States. 

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