UPDATE: Pier 1 files for bankruptcy protection amid online challenge

Local News

FILE – This June 15, 2005, file photo shows a Pier 1 Imports store in Dallas. Pier 1 Imports is closing nearly half its 942 stores as it struggles to draw consumers and compete online. The home decor company said Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, it is closing up to 450 stores and will also shutter distribution centers. It didn’t say where the store closures would occur, but it operates stores in the U.S. and Canada. Pier 1 also plans layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam, File)

MONDAY 2/17/2020 12:47 p.m.

(AP) – Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. said Monday that it has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based company, which was founded in 1962, has been struggling with increased competition from budget-friendly online retailers such as Wayfair.

Pier 1 said it will pursue a sale, with a March 23 deadline to submit bids. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

In the meantime, Pier 1 said lenders have committed approximately $256 million in debtor-in-possession financing so it can continue its operations during the Chapter 11 proceedings.

“Today’s actions are intended to provide Pier 1 with additional time and financial flexibility as we now work to unlock additional value for our stakeholders through a sale of the company,” Pier 1 CEO and Chief Financial Officer Robert Riesbeck said in a statement. Riesbeck, an executive with previous corporate turnarounds, joined Pier 1 last summer.

Pier 1’s sales fell 13% to $358 million in its most recent quarter, which ended Nov. 30. It reported a net loss of $59 million for the quarter as it struggled to draw customers to its stores. Pier 1 has been trying to declutter its stores, improve online sales and draw in younger customers.

Last month, Pier 1 announced it would close 450 stores, including all of its stores in Canada. The company is also closing two distribution centers.

Pier 1’s shares have fallen 45% since the start of the year. They closed at $3.58 per share on Friday.

Original Story: Pier 1 Imports closing nearly half of stores as sales falter

TUESDAY 1/7/2020 5:57 a.m.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Pier 1 Imports is closing nearly half its 942 stores as it struggles to draw consumers and compete online.

The home decor company said Monday it is closing up to 450 stores and will also shutter distribution centers. It didn’t say where the store closures would occur, but it operates stores in the U.S. and Canada. Pier 1 also plans layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.

The company didn’t say how many workers will be impacted.

The moves had some investors wondering if a bankruptcy filing was imminent. Also Monday, Pier 1 added two members to its board with expertise in corporate restructuring.

Pier 1’s shares fell 17% to close at $5.18 Monday. They fell another 6% in extended trading following the announcement of the store closures.
Pier 1 named a new CEO with a background in corporate turnarounds in November. Robert Riesbeck previously served as the company’s chief financial officer.

“Although decisions that impact our associates are never easy, reducing the number of our brick-and-mortar locations is a necessary business decision,” Riesbeck said Monday in a statement.

Pier 1 said sales in its most recent quarter fell 13% to $358 million as store traffic fell. It reported a net loss of $59 million for the quarter, which ended Nov. 30.

The company — which was founded in California in 1962 — has been trying to revamp its cluttered stores and change its offerings to appeal more to younger customers. But it is struggling to compete with budget-friendly home decor sites like Wayfair.

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