Pier 1 Imports plans to close all stores amid pandemic, including 5 in Montana

Pier 1 Imports plans to close all stores amid pandemic, including 5 in Montana

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Pier 1 Imports

Pier 1 Imports at 2395 Rosebud Drive in Billings, pictured Friday, December 13, 2019.

Pier 1 Imports announced a plan Tuesday to close its retail store locations in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The housewares and furniture company established in 1962 declared bankruptcy in February, and the pandemic has forced temporary closures of its approximately 540 stores.

The company based in Fort Worth, Texas, is seeking bankruptcy court approval to begin an "orderly wind-down" of the company's retail operations as soon as stores are able to reopen after government-mandated closures during the pandemic.

The company plans to sell its inventory and remaining assets, including its intellectual property and e-commerce business.

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

On April 14, the company also extended previously announced furloughs for certain home office, store and distribution associates, and continued pay reductions implemented on March 23. Pier 1 Imports furloughed about 65% of its associates due to the pandemic.

The company filed for bankruptcy in February with a plan to close about 450 stores this year. About 400 stores had already closed, or had begun closing clearances, according to the February press release. 

There are five locations in Montana: Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, Kalispell and Great Falls.

Stores in Missoula, Kalispell and Great Falls were slated to close, according to a list of locations closing from A&G Realty Partners released in January.

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