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Pier 1 just posted a $29-million first-quarter profit. Who would’ve guessed?Of course, net sales dropped 9.3% and same-store sales were down 7.5% year over year. But even those results weren’t as bad as projected. “The sales declines are getting smaller,” said Alex Smith, the company’s president and chief executive, during its quarterly conference call.Pier 1 only has 50 store closings planned this year out of its 1,073-unit portfolio. Here is Pier 1′s store closing site listing units it is shutting through June 25. Seems kind of low, huh?Additionally, management says it’s having luck with rent reductions. It says it has saved $9 million so far this year and will continue to renegotiate leases.So how is Pier 1 staying afloat without mass store closures? Improvements in its operations of landlord concessions?

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