Pier 1 Imports to wind down its business after not finding a buyer

Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports said Tuesday it is seeking bankruptcy court approval to wind down its business entirely after it was not able to find a buyer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in a press release that it plans to sell its inventory and remaining assets, including its intellectual property and online operations.

Pier 1 said it will commence the winding down of its business “as soon as reasonably possible,” once its stores are able to reopen to liquidate.

“This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward,” Chief Financial Officer Robert Riesbeck said in a statement. “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.”

Pier 1, based in Fort Worth, Texas, had filed for bankruptcy protection in February, prior to the coronavirus crisis slamming the U.S. economy and forcing thousands of stores to shut. At the time, the company was planning to shut roughly half of its locations, or about 450 shops, permanently. Meantime, it was looking for a buyer for the remaining business.

But the pandemic has taken a toll on many in retail. So far, high-end department store chain Neiman Marcus, apparel maker J.Crew, and mall icon J.C. Penney have filed for bankruptcy in recent weeks.

Online furniture companies such as Wayfair have also been eating into Pier 1’s sales.

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