Pier 1 Plans to Close All Stores After Profound Impacts From COVID-19

The retailer filed bankruptcy in February and had hoped to sell off half its stores but now plans to close all stores.

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Like a growing number of businesses during the pandemic, Pier 1 is filing bankruptcy and plans to shut down all of its stores. Recently, the Fort Worth, Texas-based home furnishings retailer tried to find a buyer for its chain of stores but was unable to.

Pier 1 noted in a press release that it still hopes to sell its assets and inventory. The retailers said its online store and intellectual property are also for sale. The company said as soon as stores can open again, it will liquidate its remaining inventory and assets. Citing a timeframe, the store representatives said: “as soon as reasonably possible.”

Robert Riesbeck, CEO of Pier 1, said: “This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward. Unfortunately, the challenging retail environment has been significantly compounded by the profound impact of COVID-19, hindering our ability to secure such a buyer and requiring us to wind down.”

The home furnishing retailer filed for bankruptcy protection in February, shortly before the pandemic became evident. Since then, the virus has significantly impacted the national economy and thousands of stores have had to shut down due to stay-at-home orders.

When the store filed for bankruptcy, its plans were only to close 50 percent of its location. The retailer looked for a buyer for the remainder. But, retail overall has been in a crisis ever since, affecting even upscale department store, Neiman Marcus. Stage, J.C. Penney, and J. Crew have also recently filed for bankruptcy. Stage Stores acknowledged that it’s also had problems finding a buyer and will liquidate its stores’ inventory.

Sources say Wayfair and other online furniture companies have also cut into Pier 1 sales and are seeing success with their enterprise.

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