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Pier 1 Imports Is Gone for Good

By Anders Bylund - May 19, 2020 at 3:31PM

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The home goods retailer is giving up the ghost, entering a liquidation process as soon as bankruptcy courts and coronavirus orders will allow.

Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports (OTC: PIRRQ) (PIRRQ) finally had enough. The company entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, but the other shoe has finally dropped. When Pier 1 stores open their doors again, they'll only stay open long enough to empty their inventories in a liquidation sale.

This is the end

Pier 1 has filed a motion with the bankruptcy court, seeking approval to wind down the company's retail operations in an orderly fashion. Liquidation sales will start when milder COVID-19 conditions allow them. A court-managed auction will find buyers for Pier 1's intellectual property and e-commerce operations.

"This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward," said CEO Robert Riesbeck in a prepared 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."

A hand holds up a small, rugged white flag on a black backdrop.

Image source: Getty Images.

Pier 1 started with a single store in 1962 and peaked with a $2.7 billion market cap in May 2013. The story ends in 2020. The novel coronavirus finished what an onslaught of competition from online retailers started. Home goods rival Williams-Sonoma (WSM -2.48%) collected 56% of its 2019 sales through the e-commerce channel and Wayfair (W -20.09%) was built from the ground up as an online business.

By contrast, Pier 1 rarely even mentioned e-commerce results in its quarterly filings or earnings calls. Riesbeck was still merely aiming to turn his company into a proper omni-channel retailer, according to the company's final quarterly report in early January. That dream will officially stay unrealized as Pier 1 closes its entire store chain for good.

Anders Bylund has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Wayfair. The Motley Fool recommends Williams-Sonoma. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Pier 1 Imports, Inc. Stock Quote
Pier 1 Imports, Inc.
PIRRQ
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Stock Quote
Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
WSM
$162.83 (-2.48%) $-4.14
Wayfair Inc. Stock Quote
Wayfair Inc.
W
$57.01 (-20.09%) $-14.33

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