July 6, 2010, 3:31 PM

Pier 1 makes a very limited return to e-commerce

Pier 1 is hatching plans to make its inventory available for purchase online by September.

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Pier 1 is hatching plans to make all of its inventory available for purchase online by September, but for in store pick up and payment only.

After a three year absence, Pier 1 Imports Inc. is making a very limited return to online retailing.

The multichannel retailer of various home furnishings is hatching plans to make all of its inventory available online by September.

But purchases will be limited to making a reservation online, but paying for the merchandise and picking up the items must be done in a Pier 1 store, the retailer says.  

 

“We are in the early stages of planning, but our initial return to online shopping will be site-to-store, which will allow us to leverage our store base without any of the complexities around payments and fulfillments,” says a company spokeswoman. “We believe this is a natural and low-risk extension of our business reach and brand.” The retailer didn’t provide details for how shoppers will make a reservation online and if a down payment will be required.

Pier 1 stopped selling online in June 2007 as part of a broader move to reduce overhead and concentrate on its stores. But now that Pier 1’s financial condition has improved, more resources will be committed to the web, the retailer says.

In 2006, its last full year of selling online, Pier 1 generated annual web sales of about $16 million.

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