As government and health officials allow non-essential retailers to reopen across the country, Pier 1 Imports has asked the bankruptcy court for permission to begin liquidation sales in what the company calls “an orderly wind-down” of its retail operations.
Although Pier 1 closed its Canadian operations and announced plans to shut down approximately 45% of its U.S. stores when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, the retailer had intended to find a buyer for the remaining stores. Then Pier 1 stores were classified as non-essential retailers and temporarily closed, effective March 22, in response to the pandemic.
As they begin to reopen in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines from local government and health officials, the stores will initiate liquidation sales. Pier 1 also plans to sell all its other remaining assets, including its intellectual property and e-Commerce business, under a court-supervised process.
“This is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve,” said Pier 1 CEO/CFO Robert Riesbeck in a 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 has been serving customers through Pier1.com during the pandemic, and orders will continue to be processed and filled, it said.