FORT WORTH-Pier 1 Imports Inc. continues its fight to stay afloat, though is sales are still sluggish due to lackluster consumer demand, and it was recently rejected on a bid to acquire the Cost Plus World Market Chain earlier this week in an $81 million deal. Though it’s not as bad as the net loss of $56.4 million in first quarter 2007, the company still reported a $32.8 million net loss, or 37 cents per share, for the first quarter ended May 31, 2008. Comp store sales dropped 5.4% for the quarter as well, the company officials said during a conference call Thursday.

The company has undergone severe measures to continue operations, including the closing of 79 stores in 2007, and a plan to close about 20-25 stores this year, leaving the retailer with just more than 1,000 stores in the US and about 80 in Canada. The firm also cut 70 full-time positions in distribution centers and on June 9 completed the sale of its headquarters facility to Chesapeake Energy Corp. for about $100 million. The company signed a lease for seven years for 250,000 sf, but have a caveat that allows early termination after five years.

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