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Pier 1 Imports files for bankruptcy, plans to sell company

The home retailer will continue to close 450 locations as executives search for a potential buyer.
Pier 1 Imports Considers Closing 15 Percent Of Its Stores After Disappointing 4th Quarter
Pier 1 Imports is for sale after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.Joe Raedle / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Months after announcing plans to close hundreds of stores, home decoration retailer Pier 1 Imports filed for bankruptcy protection.

The company filed for Chapter 11 protection on Monday in Richmond, Virginia.

In a release, Pier 1 said it plans to continue to close up to 450 stores, including all Canada locations, as part of the process. So far, more than 400 locations have closed or started going-out-business sales.

“In recent months, we have taken significant steps forward in our business transformation and cost-reduction initiatives,” Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer, said in a release. “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.”

Riesbeck added that the company is “pleased with the initial interest” of potential buyers and that the deadline for bids to purchase Pier 1 will be due on or around March 23.

At the end of the third quarter, Pier 1 sales had decreased by 11.4% compared to that of the same time the previous year, executives told investors. They said the decline was due to fewer people coming into their brick-and-mortar stores, as well as the "merchandise mix" Pier 1 had in stores this year.

It’s a trend many retailers have seen as more shoppers shift to buying online from Amazon and other online furniture giants like Overstock and Wayfair.

In the past three years, dozens of retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection, including Sears, Gymboree, Claire’s, Nine West and Payless Shoe Source. Even Forever 21 —a popular mainstay of malls — announced a plan to close hundreds of stores in September and filed for bankruptcy.