Pier 1 Imports declared bankruptcy on Monday in a move aimed at facilitating a sale of the struggling home furnishings company. The publicly listed retailer is in talks with multiple potential buyers, the company said in a statement that did not disclose possible buyers. It also reiterated a previously announced plan to cut about 40% of headquarters staff and close as many as 450 stores, or about half of the chain’s locations. Closures include all of its stores in Canada.
Pier 1’s sales and profits have slumped in recent years. Its revenue fell from nearly $1.9 billion in 2016 to $1.4 billion last year, with the company losing $310 million in 2019. During its heyday in the late 1990s, the company’s stock price once topped $400, but the shares tumbled in the ensuing years, sinking more than 80%, to $3.56, over the last 12 months.
Pier 1 listed assets and liabilities of more than $500 million in its filing in U.S. bankruptcy court in Richmond, Virginia. The company is requesting that the court set March 23 as a deadline for bids to be accepted. Founded in 1962, the company is one of many large retailers that has shuttered stores or gone bankrupt in recent years amid intense competition from e-commerce.