Pier 1 Asks Bankruptcy Court to Close All of Its Stores for Good amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The company's request to shut down stores comes after it was unable to secure a potential buyer

Pier 1 Imports losing
Pier 1. Photo: Donna Mcwilliam/AP/Shutterstock

Pier 1 Imports announced in a press release on Tuesday that the company had filed a motion with a bankruptcy court seeking to close its stores "as soon as reasonably possible."

After its "orderly wind down" of its retail operations, the home decor company, which had previously filed for bankruptcy in February, intends to sell off its remaining assets in a "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. 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," Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s CEO and CFO, said in the statement. "This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward. 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.”

The company will begin the shut down process as soon as stores around the country are able to reopen under coronavirus-related guidelines and is "currently continuing to serve customers through Pier1.com, and orders are being processed and filled," the company said in its statement.

A rep for Pier 1 did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

In January, the furniture and home decor retailer shared its third quarter financial results as well as announced its plan to close up to 450 of it 942 stores. Due to the reduction of locations, the number of distribution centers was also decreased.

Riesbeck said in statement at the time that the move will enable the Texas-based chain to reach an “appropriately sized store footprint” and “better position Pier 1 to meet our customers where they shop.”

“Although decisions that impact our associates are never easy, reducing the number of our brick-and-mortar locations is a necessary business decision,” said Riesbeck. “We thank our team of hard-working associates for their commitment to Pier 1 and to serving our customers.”

RELATED VIDEO: How One Entrepreneur Completely Pivoted His Company to Help America Amid Coronavirus

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Riesbeck added: “Looking ahead, we believe that we will deliver improved financial results over time as we realize the benefits of our business transformation and cost-reduction initiatives.”

According to its official website, Pier 1 Imports — which was started in 1962 in California — employs an estimated 20,000 workers worldwide.

The self-proclaimed “socially conscious company” sells merchandise that ranges from candles and vases to wall decor, armoires and full-sized upholstered furniture.

Updated by Tim McGovern
Related Articles