Pier 1 matters to close up to 450 stores and cut jobs

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Pier 1 Imports, the specialized furniture chain that was once hailed as a fashion destination for young professionals, said Monday that it could close up to 450 of its 936 stores, as well as some distribution centers, and fire an unspecified number of corporate employees.

The company is the last renowned retailer to announce radical closures and job cuts while struggling with declining store visits and changing consumer tastes. Pier 1 made the announcement by reporting a quarterly decrease in sales of 13 percent and a loss of $ 59 million.

Pier 1, which has its roots in a store in San Mateo, California, in 1962, is the first national chain to announce the closure of major stores this year. It was an ominous note after a bleak 2019 for traditional retailers. Last year’s bankruptcies included important names such as the fast fashion empire Forever 21, the luxury store chain Barneys New York, Payless ShoeSource and Charlotte Russe.

Pier 1, based in Fort Worth, has struggled to attract visitors to stores and increase sales, despite recent efforts to review its marketing and merchandise. Last year, the company promoted new marketing efforts around colors such as “soothing eucalyptus” and “elegant indigo,” and said it had brought a new advertising agency for a new strategic and creative holiday direction.

On Monday, Pier 1 explained its appalling results by pointing out its efforts to eliminate merchandise that it will not transport in the future and reduce store traffic. The annual revenue of Pier 1, which they last reported in April, was $ 1.6 billion.

The company’s leadership sought to give an optimistic note about the stores closing. Robert Riesbeck, executive director and chief financial officer of Pier 1 since last year, called them “a necessary business decision.”

Mr. Riesbeck, a The former leader of two retailers who declared bankruptcy, added that the actions of Pier 1 “will allow us to move forward with a store footprint and an operating structure of adequate size as an omnichannel retailer.”

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