Pier 1 Imports files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Pier 1 Imports is cleaning house.

The home goods retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, just weeks after it announced the closure of nearly half of its 942 stores.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer has been teetering on the brink of collapse for years as a slew of competitors from Target, Walmart, Wayfair and Bed Bath & Beyond siphoned customers away with lower prices and similar offerings.

Sales in its most recent quarter fell 13 percent to $358 million as store traffic dropped. The company also reported a net loss of $59 million for the quarter, which ended Nov. 30.

The bankruptcy filing in the Eastern District of Virginia says that the 58-year-old company hopes to find a buyer for its remaining stores. Pier 1 is also closing two distribution centers to reflect its smaller footprint.

“We are moving ahead in this process with the support of our lenders and are pleased with the initial interest as we engage in discussions with potential buyers,” the company’s chief executive, Robert Riesbeck, said in a statement.

Pier 1 secured $256 million in financing from Bank of America, Wells Fargo National Association and Pathlight Capital LP. 

Known for its colorful glassware, oversize pillows, wicker furniture and decorative items, Pier 1 lost its competitive edge, industry experts said. 

“Everyone is offering low-cost furniture today imported from Asia or India,” said bankruptcy attorney Kenneth Rosen of Lowenstein Sandler. “Pier 1 is not unique anymore when it comes to gifts, and furniture. They have plenty of competition.”

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