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Pier 1 Imports to close up to 450 stores amid bankruptcy fears

Thomas Barrabi

Pier 1 Imports executives said Monday the chain will close up to 450 stores in a bid to restructure its business, shortly after shares plunged on a report that the company was considering bankruptcy.

The company said that a “reduction in corporate headcount” would accompany the store closures, but did not provide specific details on how many layoffs are expected. Pier 1 will also shutter distribution centers as part of its cost-cutting measures.

“Although decisions that impact our associates are never easy, reducing the number of our brick-and-mortar locations is a necessary business decision,” Pier 1 CEO Robert Kiesbeck said. We thank our team of hard-working associates for their commitment to Pier 1 and to serving our customers.”

Additionally, the company reported a net loss of $59 million in the third quarter, compared to a loss of $50.4 in the year-ago period.

Pier 1 shares fell more than 16 percent on the reported bankruptcy preparations. Trading of the company’s stock was temporarily halted Monday afternoon due to volatility.

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Bloomberg reported that Pier 1 was preparing to file for bankruptcy and lay off up to 40 percent of its corporate staff after a long-term decline in sales. The embattled home goods retailer was also said to also be canceling orders.

Roughly 300 employees are expected to be impacted by the layoffs, according to Bloomberg.

Company executives previously disclosed plans to close about 70 stores in fiscal 2020 as part of turnaround efforts. Pier 1 has posted sales declines in eight consecutive quarters and has struggled to compete with rivals such as Walmart and Target.

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