Pier 1 files for bankruptcy, pursues sale of company

Photo courtesy of Steve Morgan/Wikimedia Commons

Feb. 17 (UPI) — Pier 1 filed for bankruptcy Monday after reaching an agreement with lenders and will pursue sale of the company.

The Fort Worth, Texas, company has reached a plan with lenders to provide it $256 million and commenced Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and pursue of sale, which it hopes will help stakeholders, a statement said.

Pier 1 also said the plan will help it complete the closure of up to 450 stores previously announced amid slumping sales among its more than 900 stores, including all its stores in Canada.

To date, the company has closed or initiated going-out-of-business sales at over 400 locations and is in the process of closing two distribution centers to reflect its smaller footprint, the company statement said.

“Today’s actions are intended to provide Pier 1 with additional time and financial flexibility as we now work to unlock additional value for our stakeholders through a sale of the company,” Pier 1 CEO and Chief Financial Officer Robert Riesbeck said in a company statement. “We are moving ahead in this process with the support of our lenders and are pleased with the initial interest as we engage in discussion with potential buyers.”

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More than 500 stores are currently open, CNN Business reported. The company lost $59 million last year with sales at stores open for at least one year down 11.4 percent in the latest quarter, but it is not alone in its struggle.

Competition from online stores and larger stores like Target and Walmart have hit the home goods sector.

Rival home decor retailer Bed Bath & Beyond’s company’s stock fell recently with less holiday sales than expected.

Macy’s announced earlier this month it plans to close 125 stores throughout the next three years. Apparel retailer Express announced the closure of 100 of its 650 stores by 2022 earlier this year, and Payless just emerged last month from last year’s bankruptcy and appointed a new executive team.

U.S. retailers announced 9,302 store closings last year, up 59 percent from 2018 and the highest number of closing since Coresight Research began tracking the data in 2012.

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