FORT WORTH, Texas — Fort Worth-based Pier 1 Imports announced today it has filed a motion seeking bankruptcy court approval to begin an "orderly wind-down" of the company’s remaining retail operations as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allow for their re-opening.
In February, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced the closure of nearly half of their retail locations, including all of its Canada locations.
With today's announcement, Pier 1 will initiate store closing efforts and liquidation sales at all their remaining retail locations once they can begin to reopen in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines from local government and health officials. Work will continue, through a court-supervised process, to sell its intellectual property and e-commerce business.
Pier 1 has nearly 20 retails locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and a distribution center in the Mansfield, Texas, area; six locations in the greater-Austin area; nearly 20 in the greater Houston-area, Beaumont, Galveston, The Woodlands, and Conroe; six in the San Antonio and New Bruanfels area; three in the El Paso area; and less than a dozen other locations in the Texas panhandle, upper and lower plains, Rio Grande Valley, and central Texas regions.
In 1962, Pier 1 Imports began as a single store in San Mateo, California. Four years later, now with 16 locations, Pier 1 established its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2004, the company consolidated three downtown Fort Worth corporate office locations into their new, 460,000-square foot, 20-story corporate headquarters in the Trinity Riverfront Project area.
The company had been continuing to serve its customers through their e-commerce business during COVID-19-related store closures.
"This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward," stated Pier 1's Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer Robert Riesbeck. "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.”
“We are grateful to our dedicated and hardworking associates, millions of customers and committed vendors who have collectively supported Pier 1 for decades," stated 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."
Pier 1, according to today's release, expects to conduct its asset sales pursuant to the bidding procedures established by the bankruptcy court on February 18, 2020, and has proposed July 1, 2020 as the asset bid deadline, July 8, 2020, as the auction date, and July 15, 2020, as the sale hearing date.
On Friday, May 15, 2020, Plano-based JCPenney's announced a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the closure of some of its stores, details of which are expected in the coming weeks. Dallas-based luxury brand Neiman Marcus also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 7, 2020. Both, according to financial reports, were struggling prior to the COVID-19 pandemic — an event which only exasperated their financial standings.