Pier 1 Imports, the biggest U.S. retailer of imported furniture, will shutter 100 stores, including all clearance and Pier 1 Kids operations, instead of a previously announced estimate of 60 store closures, it said today.

What that means for the Pier 1 store at 3425 Crater Hwy. in Medford is unclear, however.

"We do it on a case-by-case basis, and we donít announce it until we close the store," said Misty Otto, a spokeswoman for the Fort Worth, Texas-based company, this morning. A local manager referred calls to Fort Worth.

Pier 1, which runs on a fiscal year beginning in March, announced a net loss of $56 million for its fiscal first quarter, which ended May 31, with total sales declining 5.2 percent and same-store sales declining 5.4 percent. The company had more than $1.6 billion in sales during fiscal 2007.

Alex W. Smith, the companyís president and chief executive officer, said during a conference call that Pier 1 didnít open any stores during the first quarter, and closed 12, ending the quarter with 1,184 stores. For fiscal 2008, the company expects to open five new stores, and close 100 locations, leaving the company with 1,021 stores in the U.S and 81 stores in Canada.

Pier 1 opened its Rogue Valley store 10 years ago this month. When the 6,664-square-foot store opened in Crater Lake Plaza, it was the 710th store in the chain. It employs about 10.

The Pier 1 spokesman said the company will try to sub-lease store spaces it closes. The Medford location along Crater Lake Highway is near the areaís highest traffic locations.

ó Greg Stiles