Pier 1 Will Close Its Stores and Go Out of Business

Pier 1 asked a bankruptcy judge to permit it to begin winding down operations. The retailer plans a liquidation sale when the lockdown is lifted.

Pier 1 Imports is seeking Bankruptcy Court clearance to begin the process of closing its stores and ending its retail operations as soon as possible. 

The Fort Worth, Texas, home-furnishings retailer said that government mandates to shut businesses during the coronavirus pandemic have further hurt its bottom line.

"We deeply value our associates, customers, business partners, and the communities in which we operate, and this is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve," Chief Executive Robert Riesbeck said in a statement. 

"This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward." 

However, the current retail environment has compounded the impact that coronavirus has had on the sector, according to Riesbeck. 

The company said that it had been analyzing numerous other options, but the current environment requires the company to close. 

Earlier this year, Pier 1 said it was planning to close 450 stores as third-quarter same-store sales fell 11.4% year over year. As of November 2019, Pier 1 had more than 950 stores. 

Pier 1 says that it will initiate store-closing efforts and liquidation sales once store locations can reopen in compliance with coronavirus guidelines. 

As part of the wind-down, Pier 1 plans to sell its inventory and remaining assets, including its intellectual property and e-commerce business. 

The company's debtholders have allowed the company to overdraw its loan facility by about $40 million to support its continued operations during this wind-down period. 

While companies like Walmart and Home Depot have seen their e-commerce business flourish during the pandemic, Pier 1 did not see the same uptick in sales online.