May 19, 2020 - Economy

Pier 1 to permanently close following bankruptcy, coronavirus fallout

A Pier 1 store

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Pier 1 Imports filed a motion seeking bankruptcy approval on Tuesday, planning to initiate the closure of its approximately 541 stores and liquidate its inventory and assets after COVID-19 retail restrictions are lifted, per a statement.

Why it matters: This is the latest in a string of nonessential retail closure announcements throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Chains that were already struggling financially have faced amplified shortfalls due to social distancing regulations and market uncertainty.

Pier 1, which launched in 1962, declared bankruptcy in February and was planning to cut roughly half of its store footprint as of January, CNBC reports.

What they're saying: "This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward," Pier 1's CEO and CFO Robert Riesbeck 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."
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