Pier 1 files for bankruptcy protection amid online challenge

Business News

MIAMI, FLORIDA – JANUARY 07: The exterior of a Pier 1 Imports store is seen as the company announced plans to close up to 450 locations on January 07, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The announcement made yesterday cited the need for the company to better align its business with the current operating environment. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(AP) – Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. said Monday that it has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based company, which was founded in 1962, has been struggling with increased competition from budget-friendly online retailers such as Wayfair.

Pier 1 said it will pursue a sale, with a March 23 deadline to submit bids. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

In the meantime, Pier 1 said lenders have committed approximately $256 million in debtor-in-possession financing so it can continue its operations during the Chapter 11 proceedings.

“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,” Pier 1 CEO and Chief Financial Officer Robert Riesbeck said in a statement. Riesbeck, an executive with previous corporate turnarounds, joined Pier 1 last summer.

Pier 1′s sales fell 13% to $358 million in its most recent quarter, which ended Nov. 30. It reported a net loss of $59 million for the quarter as it struggled to draw customers to its stores. Pier 1 has been trying to declutter its stores, improve online sales and draw in younger customers.

Last month, Pier 1 announced it would close 450 stores, including all of its stores in Canada. The company is also closing two distribution centers.

Pier 1′s shares have fallen 45% since the start of the year. They closed at $3.58 per share on Friday.

Pier 1 has locations across New York, including those in Ithaca and Binghamton.

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