By Shereen Siewert
Home decor retailer Pier 1 Imports announced in a statement that it has received approval from bankruptcy court to shutter and liquidate all of its roughly 540 stores, including the Rib Mountain location.
All e-commerce operations will also cease.
Pier 1 plans for all store closings and liquidation sales to be concluded by the end of October, the statement said.
Wisconsin is home to 10 Pier 1 locations including the Rib Mountain store.
Pier 1 was founded in 1962 in California, where it made its name selling incense, beanbag chairs and love beads. The company moved to Texas in 1966 and went public in 1970.
Officials last month blamed the permanent store closures on the “profound impact of COVID-19,” which prevented the retailer from securing a buyer after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February.
Pier 1 Imports originally intended to close up to 450 stores and distribution centers. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company has been struggling with increased competition from budget-friendly online retailers such as Wayfair and Amazon and discount stores such as Home Goods. In a 2018 presentation to investors, the company acknowledged that shoppers thought its merchandise was outdated and expensive. It was also burdened by high sourcing and supply chain costs.
Pier 1?s remaining assets, including intellectual property and e-commerce business, will also be sold through a court-supervised process in July, the statement said.
“This is not the outcome we hoped for when we began this process, and we are deeply saddened to move forward with winding down Pier 1,” Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s CEO and CFO, said in the statement. “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported Pier 1 since the company’s inception nearly 60 years ago, including our committed associates, passionate customers and talented vendors.”
In recent years, it has struggled to draw customers to its often cramped and cluttered stores. The company has been trying to streamline its merchandise, improve online sales and draw in younger customers, but it was an uphill climb. On Monday, Pier 1 was selling a tufted velvet armchair for a sale price of $399 on its website. Target was offering a similar one for $214.
In its most recent fiscal year, which ended in February 2019, Pier 1 reported sales of $1.55 billion. That was down by 18% from 2015. Pier 1’s sales tumbled by 13% to $358 million in its most recent quarter, which ended Nov. 30.