Home decor retailer to cease operations, liquidate Philadelphia-area stores

(Jake Dean/Dallas Business Journal)

(Jake Dean/Dallas Business Journal)

This story originally appeared on The Philadelphia Business Journal.

A Texas-based home decor retailer has filed a motion seeking bankruptcy court approval to begin a wind-down of its retail operations.

Pier 1 Imports Inc. plans to sell its inventory and remaining assets, including its intellectual property and e-commerce business, through the court-supervised process. It plans to begin the process as soon as reasonably possible after store locations are able to reopen following government-mandated closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward,” Pier 1 CEO and CFO Robert Riesbeck said in a release. “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.”

When Pier 1 first filed for bankruptcy in February, it was in the process of closing half of its U.S. stores. That left five Philadelphia-area stores in Deptford, Hamilton and Mount Laurel, all in South Jersey, as well as Delaware stores in Wilmington and Newark, but they’re temporarily closed due to the pandemic.

Pier 1 plans to start store closing efforts and liquidation sales once store locations can reopen in compliance with coronavirus guidelines from local government and health officials. The company is currently continuing to serve customers through its website, and orders are being processed and filled.

The company has proposed July 1 as its asset bid deadline, July 8 as the auction date and July 15 as the sale hearing date.

The company’s debtor-in-possession lenders have agreed to allow Pier 1 to overdraw the DIP facility by about $40 million to support its continued operations during the wind-down period. The company plans to file a Chapter 11 plan and disclosure statement to bring closure to all parties in the Chapter 11 cases.

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