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Pier 1 Imports going out of business, will liquidate after reopening

(Pier 1 Photo)

PHOENIX – If the 14 metro Phoenix Pier 1 Imports locations reopen in the wake of state-mandated closures, it will be to hold going-out-of-business sales.

The 58-year-old Texas-based home furnishings retailer requested bankruptcy court approval to “begin an orderly wind-down of the company’s retail operations as soon as reasonably possible,” according to an investor relations press release issued Tuesday.

Pier 1 filed for bankruptcy in February and was hoping to find a new owner to keep the business running.

“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,” Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer, said in the release.

Under court supervision, the company intends to liquidate its remaining inventory and assets, including intellectual property and its e-commerce business.

Retail stores were allowed to reopen in Arizona earlier this month if they followed distancing and disinfecting guidelines designed to decrease the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

It’s not yet clear when the Valley’s Pier 1 stores will reopen and start selling off their remaining goods, but the retailer’s website is filling orders.

Pier 1 had been planning to downsize before the coronavirus pandemic shattered the economy.

In January the company said it would close half of its 942 stores in the U.S. and Canada, shut some distribution centers and lay off workers at its Fort Worth headquarters.

In a harbinger of bankruptcy, the company also added two members to its board with expertise in corporate restructuring.

Pier 1 — which was founded in San Mateo, California, in 1962 — attempted to revamp its cluttered stores and change its offerings to appeal more to younger customers. But it struggled to compete with budget-friendly home decor sites like Wayfair.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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