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Deutsch Campaign Working, Retailer Says

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DALLAS Pier 1 Imports has already seen indications that its new ad campaign from Interpublic Group's Deutsch is beginning to buoy declining same-store sales, top executives said.

"Customer traffic and average ticket purchases improved each week as our new advertising coverage increased throughout the month," said Marvin J. Girouard, chairman and chief executive of the Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer.

"During May, we have planned a full schedule of national television, radio and print advertising to promote gift giving for Mother's Day and graduations," Girouard said. "In addition, we will promote events for both outdoor and wicker furniture as customers shop for spring and summer merchandise closer to the Memorial Day weekend."

After winning the $60 million account in a review concluded last October, New York-based Deutsch broke its first campaign for the client in late March. Unlike previous campaigns that used celebrity spokespeople Kirstie Alley and Thom Filicia, the new ads feature the merchandise and its exotic origins.

Despite the advertising help, Pier 1 still faces a challenge as overall sales in April fell 2.1 percent to $127 million and same-store sales dropped 8.1 percent, Girouard said. Last year, same-store sales fell 13.9 percent, the company said.