Cast away: Pier 1 to liquidate assets, shutter business

Coronavirus helped sink the home goods company, has been unable to find a buyer and will close its remaining 500 stores

TRD NATIONAL /
May.May 19, 2020 02:22 PM
Pier 1 CEO Robert Riesbeck (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Pier 1 CEO Robert Riesbeck (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Pier 1 Imports’ plan to sell the home decor company has turned into a plan to shut down, becoming the latest retail casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

The chain has filed a motion seeking approval from a bankruptcy court to start winding down its retail operations as soon as possible once its 540 remaining stores nationwide are allowed to reopen. The announcement was made Tuesday.

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

Pier 1 had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, about a month after it announced it would close 450 stores across the country. The company said at the time that it planned to use the move to sell the company, but Tuesday’s announcement indicates it is now switching to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or a liquidation.

CEO Robert Riesbeck said in a statement that this was “not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve” for the company.

“This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward,” he said. “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 ultimately determined that shutting down was the best way to maximize the value of its assets, it said. The Texas-based company has proposed deadlines of July 1 for bids on its assets, July 8 for the auction, and July 15 for the sale hearing.

The retail industry, which was already hobbled before the pandemic, has been slammed with a wave of bankruptcies over the past few weeks alone. Those include Neiman Marcus, J. Crew and on Monday, J.C. Penney.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
24 Hour Fitness is preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing even as it begins reopening locations. (Getty)

24 Hour Fitness prepares for potential bankruptcy

24 Hour Fitness prepares for potential bankruptcy
A judge allowed Le Pain Quotidien to be released from 59 of its leases. (Getty, iStock)

Le Pain Quotidien freed from 59 leases in bankruptcy

Le Pain Quotidien freed from 59 leases in bankruptcy
Stephen Ross, chairman of Related Companies (Getty)

Stephen Ross to retailers: Brace yourself for bankruptcies

Stephen Ross to retailers: Brace yourself for bankruptcies
Barry Sternlicht and (from top) Capital Mall in Washington, Franklin Park Mall in Ohio and Plaza West Covina Mall in California (Credit: Capital via Starwood, Franklin via OCP Contractors)

Competing bids for Starwood’s suffering retail

Competing bids for Starwood’s suffering retail
Even as the economy begins to reopen, many restaurant and cafe tenants like Chipotle and Starbucks are requesting rent reductions amid projected declines in revenue. (Photos by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images and Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Major restaurants and cafes seek rent cuts, irking landlords

Major restaurants and cafes seek rent cuts, irking landlords
J.C. Penney CEO Jill Soltau (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

J.C. Penney to close 242 stores in bankruptcy restructuring

J.C. Penney to close 242 stores in bankruptcy restructuring
Pedestrians on Russell Street in the popular shopping district of Causeway Bay in Hong Kong in 2019 (Credit: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images)

Rents along Hong Kong’s top retail stretches are crumbling

Rents along Hong Kong’s top retail stretches are crumbling
Gap CEO Sonia Syngal said the company plans to reopen with fewer Gap brand stores (Credit: Syngal via Marc Piasecki/Getty Images; Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Pandemic kills some retailers, but others could reboot

Pandemic kills some retailers, but others could reboot
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...