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Former Barnes |amp| Noble to house Pier 1 Imports

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Pier 1 Imports is moving to the former Barnes and Noble building, at 3110 S. Glenstone.|ret||ret||tab|

Pier 1, now at 1415 E. Battlefield, is expected to open at its new location in early May, according to store manager Michelle Guy.|ret||ret||tab|

Pier 1 decided to move from its current location at Morris Comers when its lease expired in February, and the company had the opportunity to sub-lease the former Barnes and Noble building, Guy said.|ret||ret||tab|

Pier 1 will begin moving to the new location around April 17, but the existing store will remain open through April 23. The targeted opening date at the new location is May 5, Guy said.|ret||ret||tab|

Scott Harrell, broker and president of Scott F. Harrell and Associates Inc., said Pier 1 took over Barnes and Noble's lease for 10 years with options. The bookstore moved across the street in November 1998 to 3055 S. Glenstone.|ret||ret||tab|

Harrell represented Barnes & Noble in the deal, which was a sublease/assignment transaction. Tim Roth, CCIM, of Rankin & Company was the agent for Pier 1. |ret||ret||tab|

The move is part of the company's growth strategy, said Lisa Ratliff, spokesman for Pier 1 in Fort Worth, Texas. |ret||ret||tab|

"We want to be able to provide the people of Springfield with Pier 1's ever-changing merchandise and do it in an environment that's pleasant and friendly and fun. That's what this new location will do for us," Ratiliff siad.|ret||ret||tab|

The interior of the former bookstore, vacant for about a year, is being gutted and reconstructed to Pier 1 standards, according to Harrell. Carpeting is being replaced with tile, and light fixtures will be replaced with track lighting.|ret||ret||tab|

Customers won't see much change in the merchandise that is offered, but they should notice a great improvement in the way the items are presented, Guy said. |ret||ret||tab|

The new sales floor will be 15,000 square feet 5,000 square feet more than Pier 1 occupies now, which will allow the store to present merchandise in lifestyle settings.|ret||ret||tab|

"We expect the move to increase sales tremendously," Guy said. "We'll have better presentation of merchandise and better lighting." The new location will also have wider aisles that will allow Pier 1 to offer shopping carts.|ret||ret||tab|

Parking at Pier 1 should be easier, also. The store's customers now have to compete with Toys R Us customers for parking, which is a problem around Christmas, Guy said. |ret||ret||tab|

The store plans to hire 30 to 40 temporary workers to help with the move, and Guy said some of them may be kept on after the move is complete.|ret||ret||tab|

The move is a win-win situation for everyone involved, according to Guy. "We want to be adjacent to the mall and where new growth is occurring," she said. "We'll be on the shopping strip. I don't see how the location could be any better." |ret||ret||tab|

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