Pier 1 says customer traffic better

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Fort Worth, Texas Pier 1 Imports said that same-store sales rose 9.9% in September as customer traffic improved.

The company said merchandise margins also improved as it marked down fewer items and sold less inventory at clearance prices.

Pier 1 also said that if its stock price continues to improve, it could terminate the conversion rights of those holding 9 cents of the company's convertible notes that were issued in the second quarter, lessening dilution for current stockholders. So far, $15 million of $61.2 million in bonds have been converted into about six million shares.

"Although it is still early in the quarter, we have seen nothing to indicate that recent sales and traffic trends will not continue," said president and CEO Alex Smith. "As we head into November and December, we feel confident about our inventory level and our ability to manage it with significantly less markdowns than last year, resulting in continued improvements to merchandise margins on a year-over-year basis."