The last we heard from home goods chain Pier 1 Imports was in February when the retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced it would shutter 450 of its 942 stores. Today, Pier 1 Imports announced some pretty heartbreaking news: After 58 years in business, the company has filed a motion with the bankruptcy court to begin an orderly wind-down of all of its retail operations.
Once store locations can reopen, in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines from local government and health officials, Pier 1 plans to liquidate all of its remaining stores. (Currently, there are 540 Pier 1 Imports stores still standing, as the company was still in the process of shuttering locations when the pandemic hit). As part of this court-supervised “wind-down,” the company plans to sell all of its inventory and remaining assets, including its intellectual property and e-commerce business.
“This is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve,” said Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s CEO and CFO. However, he continues “We are grateful to our dedicated and hardworking associates, millions of customers and committed vendors who have collectively supported Pier 1 for decades. We deeply value our associates, customers, business partners and the communities in which we operate.”
After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, the company hoped it would find a buyer to continue the brand. As Riesbeck notes: “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.”
Pier 1 started with a single store in 1962 in Forts-Worth, Texas. Over the span of almost six decades, the retailer became one of the country’s top destinations for globally-inspired home decor and accessories (it even earned a famous cameo on Friends).
Currently, Pier1.com orders are still being processed and filled and the retailer will still host its annual Memorial Day sale where shoppers can enjoy up to 40 percent off sitewide. You can shop Pier 1 Imports here.
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“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,” Riesbeck said.
Pier 1 is currently accepting orders on its website and said it will “initiate store closing efforts and liquidation sales once store locations can reopen, in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines from local government and health officials.”
The company says it has approximately 541 U.S. stores and in the court filing says it plans to reopen some stores on or around May 22.
More retailers are expected to file for bankruptcy and more stores are expected to close because of the impact of COVID-19. J.C. Penney, which filed for bankruptcy Friday, said it plans to close 242 locations.
Pier 1 returns: What you need to know
The company said in its court filing that if its order is approved it will accept returns for the first 30 days from the date it is approved “so long as the return is otherwise in compliance with the Debtors’ return policies in effect as of the date such item was purchased.”
Returns of items sold in the liquidation sale of the company’s initial closing stores will not be accepted.
Pier 1 gift cards, loyalty certificates
Pier 1 has proposed that valid gift certificates, gift cards, and loyalty certificates issued previously will be accepted for 21 days from when the order is approved on its website. Then the gift cards and certificates would be accepted for the first 21 days “from the date of the reopening of any store” for in-person purchases only.
After the 21 days, they will not be accepted and “deemed to have no remaining value,” according to the court filing.
Here’s a list of the stores closing, Harlem is not included.
Photo credit: Google search.