Pier I Imports reduced its loss in the first quarter amid a boost in its gross margin and other operational improvements.

Pier 1 reported its first-quarter loss narrowed to $3 million, or 4 cents a share, from $6 million, or 7 cents a share, a year earlier. Its results beat expectations.

Revenue fell to $409.5 million, less than expected, from $418.4 million. The home decor retailer noted that the average number of stores operating in the quarter decreased approximately 1% compared to the year-ago period. Same-store sales were flat.

Analyst Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, commented that Pier’s I’s poor store performance is partially due to the fact that some of its stores are in locations that suffer from weak customer traffic. Another problem is the nature of the stores themselves, he said.

“While we recognize that improvements have been made to the layout, we maintain our view that…