May 19, 2020 - Economy & Business

Pier 1 to permanently close following bankruptcy, coronavirus fallout

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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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.