Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports (OTC: PIRRQ) (OTC:PIRR.Q) 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."
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 (NYSE:WSM) collected 56% of its 2019 sales through the e-commerce channel and Wayfair (NYSE:W) 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.