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Here’s why the Pier 1 Imports near you might be shutting down

PHOENIX – Struggling home furnishings retailer Pier 1 Imports, which has 14 locations across metro Phoenix, announced plans Monday to shut down around half its stores.

The nearly 60-year-old company did not say which of its 942 stores in the U.S. and Canada would be impacted or when the closures would take place.

Pier 1 will also shut some distribution centers and lay off workers at its Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters.

The moves had some investors wondering if a bankruptcy filing was imminent. Also Monday, Pier 1 added two members to its board with expertise in corporate restructuring.

Pier 1’s shares fell 17% to close at $5.18 Monday. They fell another 8% in extended trading following the announcement of the store closures.

Pier 1 named a new CEO with a background in corporate turnarounds in November. Robert Riesbeck previously served as the company’s chief financial officer.

“Although decisions that impact our associates are never easy, reducing the number of our brick-and-mortar locations is a necessary business decision,” Riesbeck said Monday in a statement.

Pier 1 said sales in its most recent quarter fell 13% to $358 million as store traffic fell. It reported a net loss of $59 million for the quarter, which ended Nov. 30.

The company — which was founded in California in 1962 — has been trying to revamp its cluttered stores and change its offerings to appeal more to younger customers. But it is struggling to compete with budget-friendly home decor sites like Wayfair.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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