Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Pier 1 Laments Decline of the 'Casual Shopper'

Pier 1 Imports Inc. plunged 20 percent after the furniture chain cut its forecast, citing a decline in “casual” in-store shoppers.

The company now expects annual earnings of 42 cents to 46 cents, down from a previous forecast of as much as 64 cents, according to a statement Wednesday. Third-quarter sales and profit also fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Pier 1, known for its papasan chairs and home accents, gave its outlook after a slow start to the holiday season. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company also is facing more competition to cut prices.

“The decline of the casual in-store shopper continues to challenge us,” Chief Executive Officer Alex W. Smith said in the statement.

The shares fell to $4.75 at the close of trading on Thursday in New York, their biggest decline in 10 months. Even before the tumble, the stock was down 61 percent this year.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.