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Pier 1 furloughs most employees at Fort Worth headquarters

🕐 2 min read

Pier 1 Imports has furloughed most of its employees at its Fort Worth headquarters and instituted pay cuts for those still employed as a result of the coronavirus and to preserve liquid assets.

“Like many retailers that have temporarily closed stores in response to COVID-19, we are making difficult decisions that are necessary to preserve value in our business for the long-term benefit our associates, customers and other stakeholders,” said Pier 1 CEO Robert Riesbeck.

About 65 percent of the company’s employees at headquarters as well as some store and distribution associates are furloughed indefinitely.

That decision was made March 23, following the company’s announcement on March 22, to temporarily shutter all Pier 1 stores nationwide to combat the coronavirus.

Employees deemed critical to operations have had their pay cut by 20 percent. Salaries were cut 30 percent for senior executives were 50 percent for executive vice presidents and above. Pay for board members was cut or deferred by 50 percent, the company said in a statement.

The company said it would continue to follow guidelines from government and health office to determine when it can re-open its stores.

Pier 1 is continuing to take and fill orders through online operations.

Last month, Pier 1 initiated Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The filing came followed an announcement earlier this year that Pier 1 would close 450 stores and layoff employees.

Lenders have committed approximately $256 million in debtor-in-possession financing so the company could continue to operate through the bankruptcy process.

Pier 1 was founded in California in 1962 and established a relationship for selling trendy home goods such as beanbag chairs and hanging strands of love beads to serve as room dividers.

The company moved its headquarters to Texas and went public in 1970.

In recent years, the company has moved into selling more conventional items such as furniture, dishes and decorative pieces but has struggled with competition from lower-priced retailers such as Walmart, Target, Home Goods and Wayfair.

In its most recent quarterly earnings report, ending Nov. 30, 2019, the company’s sales fell 13 percent to $358 million. It reported a net loss of $59 million for the quarter.

In a news release, Pier 1 stated it operates 541 stores in the U.S. but did not disclose its number of employees

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