Pier 1 Imports Incorporated was founded nearly 60 years ago in San Mateo, California, as a beads-and-incense-style home goods store for the hippy portion of the baby boomer generation. At the time, it was called Cost Plus Imports, and then Import Cargo after a move. By 1966, Pier 1 had sixteen stores and its current name, and established a corporate headquarters in Texas while they prepared to go public.
As the chain grew, they grew up. In the 80s and into the 1990s, Pier 1 grew a reputation as a quirky but still slightly stuffy furniture store, the sort of place you went to decorate a room you didn’t use often, or to buy inoffensive dishes for hosting a dinner party. By 2012, they had nearly 900 stores across the United States and in Japan, but for the past decade, they’ve been in decline.
In April 2019, Pier 1 announced that they planned to close approximately 145 stores during 2020’s fiscal year, and that they had already closed down 30 locations. Then in January, 2020, the company announced that instead of 145, they would be closing as many as 450 stores, half of their locations along with several warehouses, and making strides to reduce their corporate expenses. Layoffs had already begun, and a liquidation company was under contract to close the affected stores. Blood was in the water, and it was plain the company was in dire straits. A buyer was being sought for the business.
Unfortuantely, on May 19th, the company announced its plans to work with their bankruptcy court to cease all actions of business “as soon as possible.” Already deeply in the weeds, the current pandemic gave the struggling company no chance to recover, nor any buyer a chance to save them. All remaining locations will be closed soon, although a schedule has not been announced. Online orders will continue to be fulfilled while stock still exists, although Pier 1 is also seeking a buyer for their website.
Source: NBC News
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