Retailer Pier 1 to permanently shut down, close all 540 stores in U.S. and Canada

Retailer Pier 1 to permanently shut down, close all 540 stores in U.S. and Canada

After trying to restructure itself and find a buyer for months, U.S. retail chain Pier 1 announced Tuesday that it will wind down operations and close all 540 of its stores in the U.S. and Canada

The chain filed for bankruptcy protection in February and said at the time it hoped to find a buyer for the business, which at the time included 50 stores in Canada and almost 500 in the U.S.

On Tuesday the company announced those efforts had failed to find a buyer, so it will instead  shut down the business entirely.

“This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward,” the chain said in a statement. “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.”

Closing the stores in Canada was always part of the plan, but Tuesday’s news means not even the U.S. ones will be spared.

It will start going-out-of-business sales as soon as it can reopen stores that have been temporarily shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas-based Pier 1 Imports was founded in the 1960s and is known for selling home furnishings and decor. It is unknown exactly when the doors will close for good on this side of the border. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

Pier 1 traces to a single store in 1962 that sold beanbag chairs and love beads to hippies in San Mateo, Calif. It expanded to offer just about anything for the home, from lounge chairs to curtains, and it later adopted the slogan: “From Hippie to Hip.” At its height, Pier 1 had more than 1,200 stores.

But in recent years, its sales have fallen as it struggled to compete with online retailers Wayfair and Amazon, which sell sofas and coffee tables at a lower price and deliver them quickly.

The company is just the latest retailer to be felled by the pandemic, as in recent weeks U.S. chains Neiman Marcus and J Crew have both gone bankrupt.

In Canada, shoe store Aldo went into restructuring earlier this month, and fashion chain Reitmans did the same also on Tuesday.



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