Fort Worth, Texas -- Pier 1 Imports, Inc. is the latest retail casualty during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced this week that they will be liquidating stores as soon as they reopen.
The prominent home décor chain had declared bankruptcy in February. As part bankruptcy plan, the chain was looking to cut their store count in half. Now with the loss of several months of revenue, Pier 1 is forced to close its approximately 541 stores. This includes the location in State College at 221 Patriot Lane.
As of Tuesday, the voicemail at the store said the location is still temporarily closed. The store that was located at an outparcel building at Lycoming Mall in Pennsdale closed in June 2019.
Related reading: Pier 1 Imports in Pennsdale to close
“This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward. Unfortunately, the challenging retail environment has been significantly compounded by the profound impact of COVID-19, hindering our ability to secure such a buyer and requiring us to wind-down,” said Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer in a statement.
The company has asked the bankruptcy court to approve a wind-down of its operations as soon as stores can reopen. This will include a complete sale of inventory, intellectual property and other assets such as its e-commerce business. Pier 1’s website is still accepting orders for now.
Pier 1 Imports had thoroughly analyzed all available alternatives before coming to the conclusion to close stores and sell assets, according to a press release. “Ultimately, due to the combination of a challenging retail environment and the new reality and uncertainty of a post-COVID world, the company and its advisors determined that an orderly wind-down is the best way to maximize the value of Pier 1’s assets,” the press release stated.
Pier 1 Imports, with headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, was founded with a single store in 1962, according to the website. The retailer has struggled in recent years to compete against lower cost competitors, including TJ Maxx Homegoods, Amazon, Target, Wayfair, and Walmart.