Fort Worth

Pier 1 Imports to Wind Down Business After Failing to Find a Buyer Amid Pandemic

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Fort Worth-based home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports announced Tuesday that it filed a motion seeking bankruptcy court approval to begin "an orderly wind-down of the company's retail operations" and to liquidate all assets due to economic stress brought on by the pandemic coupled with the inability to find a buyer.

As part of the wind-down, Pier 1 said they plan to sell all remaining inventory and assets, including its intellectual property and e-commerce business, through the court-supervised process.

“We are grateful to our dedicated and hardworking associates, millions of customers and committed vendors who have collectively supported Pier 1 for decades," said Pier 1 Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Robert Riesbeck. "We deeply value our associates, customers, business partners and the communities in which we operate, and this is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve."

Riesbeck said the company had worked for months to identify a buyer to help see them out of bankruptcy, but that "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” as a best way to maximize the company's remaining assets.

Pier 1 closing sign
Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News
Pier 1 is closing nearly 450 stores as they try to cut costs and slow a cash burn.

Once Pier 1 stores are able to reopen, they will initiate liquidation sales and begin final closing efforts. Throughout the pandemic, Pier 1's online store has remained open and operating normally and is expected to continue to process and fill orders until inventory is exhausted.

Pier 1 is the latest in a string of North Texas-based retailers to declare bankruptcy during the pandemic, including Plano-based J.C. Penney and Dallas-based Neiman Marcus, but is the first to shut down their business entirely.

Earlier this year, Pier 1 said they planned to close nearly half of its stores, including all its stores in Canada, while they worked to find a buyer to help them emerge from bankruptcy protection.

In January, Pier 1 said they had initiated going-out-business sales at over 400 locations and was in the process of closing two distribution centers "to reflect its revised footprint."

Pier 1 Storefront
Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News
Pier 1 is closing nearly 450 stores as they try to cut costs and slow a cash burn.

The company said Tuesday that debtor-in-possession lenders allowed them to overdraw the DIP facility by $40 million to support the continued operations through the wind-down period. The Company plans to file a Chapter 11 plan and disclosure statement to bring closure to all parties in the Chapter 11 cases.

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