Pier 1 files for bankruptcy protection, closing all Canadian stores

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TORONTO — Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. says it has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and plans to close all Canadian stores as part of its restructuring process.

The Texas-based company has been struggling with increased competition from budget-friendly online retailers such as Wayfair.

Pier 1 says it will pursue a sale, with a March 23 deadline to submit bids.

The company last month announced it would close 450 stores, including all its Canadian locations.

Pier 1’s Canadian website now directs customers to a short statement announcing the closures and thanks them for their loyalty.

The company is also commencing creditor protection proceedings in Canada.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP are serving as Canadian legal advisers.

In a statement Monday, the company said it will continue to shutter stores as part of its bankruptcy proceedings. The company, which was founded in 1962, is also closing two distribution centres.

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.

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

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2020.

—With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

14 COMMENTS

    • Millie Jackson I think it is the biggest threat to shopping choices. I HATE online shopping… especially clothes and shoes….I have to try on virtually everything to see if it fits properly. Returning almost everything would be a royal pain in the ass.

    • Millie Jackson you have to shop online in the Soo, there are no options. WM doesnt carry everything you need and there is no alternative except to go across and then you are paying more at the border than the item is worth that’s not including bridge fare.

    • @James Sloan – are you kidding? There a a multitude of things you can’t buy in Soo, ON. There are foods, products, materials – and if you can find what you’re looking for expect to pay a higher price than anywhere else. Want some flooring or furniture? Great – here are your 4 options that we’ve picked for you. Oh, want something different? That’s special order – add another 25% to the cost and we can’t guarantee when it’ll come in.
      Every store here sells the same damn thing, it’s like restaurants here- little to no diversity, all Italian.

    • George Parsons I’m sure JT dictates Canadians’ shopping choices. On-line entities, as the article clearly stated, is a big reason for changing his people shop. It has been given in other store closings. JT haters are getting just plain ridiculous…and you lose a whole lot of credibility in your position.

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