Pier 1 Imports closing nearly half of its stores, fate of Delaware locations unknown



Kelly Tyko - Delaware Online


Pier 1 Imports plans to close up to 450 locations, nearly half of its 942 stores, the company announced Monday.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based home goods retailer said the decision to reduce its store footprint is "to better align its business with the current operating environment."

"Although decisions that impact our associates are never easy, reducing the number of our brick-and-mortar locations is a necessary business decision," Pier 1 CEO and Chief Financial Officer Robert Riesbeck, said in a news release.

The company will also close certain distribution centers and reduce its corporate expenses because of the "revised store footprint."

It is unknown whether any of Delaware's four locations will be impacted. A timeline for when the liquidation sales will start was also not immediately available. Pier 1 officials reached Monday by USA TODAY declined to comment.

In Delaware there are Pier 1 Imports on Del. 1 in Rehoboth Beach, U.S. 13 in Dover, Centre Boulevard near the Christiana Mall and Concord Pike in Talleyville.

“Fiscal third quarter sales and margins remained under pressure as we completed our efforts to clear out non-go-forward merchandise," said Riesbeck, who was named CEO in November. "Looking ahead, we believe that we will deliver improved financial results over time as we realize the benefits of our business transformation and cost-reduction initiatives."

According to Bloomberg, the company is preparing to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcies filed last year included other major brands like Forever 21, Payless ShoeSource and Charlotte Russe.

In April, Pier 1 announced it could close as many as 145 stores, about 15% of its nearly 1,000 locations. A week later, S&P Global Ratings warned that the "potential for a bankruptcy filing or debt restructuring is continuing to increase" for Pier 1 Imports as its retail performance continues "to deteriorate significantly."

On Sept. 25 during a quarterly earnings call with analysts, then-interim CEO Cheryl Bachelder repeated that "up to 15%" of locations could close and said officials were working with A&G Realty to "determine the ideal footprint." 

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