Pier 1 Imports Will Close More Stores After Announcing Dozens Would Shutter: Reports

December 6, 2019 Updated: December 6, 2019
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Pier 1 Imports announced it will be closing more stores in an announcement that comes several weeks after it confirmed the closure of dozens of locations across the United States.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the firm is pulling out of Hawaii and is closing seven of its remaining stores there.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Engstrand Reeder confirmed on Thursday the Hawaii stores are closing “as part of a strategic business decision.”

“We are committed to having a substantial, national store presence as a cornerstone of our go-forward strategy,” Reeder said. “At the same time, we are working to optimize our footprint to align with the needs of the business. We have previously announced our decision to close 70 stores and that we expected that number could increase.”

The Fort Worth, Texas-based home goods retailer opened its first store on Hawaii island in Kailua in June 2012, followed by a Hilo store in March 2014. There are also three stores on Oahu and one each on Kauai and Maui. The company says it is working privately with individual employees during the closures.

In October, the chain said it would shut down about 70 stores across the United States.

The firm’s interim CEO, Cheryl Bachelder, said during a conference call: “Thus far, we’ve decided to close approximately 70 stores … and expect that number to increase as we continue the dialogue with landlords,” according to a transcript provided by investor news site Seeking Alpha.

She said that if the firm is “unable to achieve our performance goals, sales targets, and reductions in occupancy and other costs, we could close up to 15 percent of our portfolio.”

Bachelder also explained: “The Pier 1 organization is passionate about the business. We recognize the value of this brand and remain committed to returning to strong performance over time. We are especially grateful to our associates for continuing to go the extra mile to make Pier 1 a success.”

By the end of the last quarter, Pier 1 operated 951 stores, the report said.

The firm, which specializes in home decor, started stocking new merchandise in stores between August and September, and it expected all stores to have new goods by the end of October, the Fresno Bee reported.

“We are returning to the familiar best-selling categories our customers want from Pier 1,” Bachelder said on the October call. “We all know that turnarounds take time, but I want to assure you our teams are working with a sense of urgency,” she added.

Rough Year

This year has been an especially rough year for retailers.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. announced that it is increasing the number of stores it expects to shutter in the coming fiscal year.

Interim CEO Mary Winston confirmed the retailer, which operates Buybuy Baby, Harmon Face Values, and World Market, that some 60 stores will be shuttered. Earlier this year, the company said it would close 40 of its stores.

Epoch Times Photo
A dismantled sign sits leaning outside a Sears department store one day after it closed as part of multiple store closures by Sears Holdings Corp in the United States in Nanuet, New York, on Jan. 7, 2019. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Meanwhile, Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy and might close as many as 178 stores across the country, according to reports in September.

And two retail giants of yesteryear—Sears and Kmart—are to close nearly 100 stores around the U.S., confirmed the firm who owns the stores.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.