Iowa's Pier 1 Imports stores will permanently close

by 24USATVMay 19, 2020, 11:40 p.m. 22
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Pier 1 Imports stores in Iowa and nationwide will close permanently after the home goods retailer said it was unable to find a buyer to continue operating the stores while it filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based home goods retailer announced in a news release Tuesday that it was seeking bankruptcy court approval to begin store closing and liquidation sales once stores are able to safely reopen "following the government-mandated closures during the COVID-19 pandemic."

In January, Pier 1 said it planned to close up to 450 stores, or nearly half of its locations. That included half its eight Iowa stores, those in Coralville, Dubuque, Sioux City and West Des Moines.

It then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.

"This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward," said Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s CEO and chief financial officer in a news 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."

Pier 1 is still accepting orders on its website until it can liquidate its in-store inventory.

The four Iowa stores that had remained open — Ankeny, Clive, Marion and Davenport — are all listed as temporarily closed on Pier 1's website, even though Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has allowed retail stores to reopen statewide under capacity and sanitary guidelines.

The company said on its website stores will likely say open through early fall 2020. Store closing dates will vary by location.

More retailers are expected to file for bankruptcy and more stores are expected to close because of the impact of COVID-19. J.C. Penney, which filed for bankruptcy Friday, said it plans to close 242 locations. It's unclear whether any department stores in Iowa are on the list to close.

Kim Norvell covers growth and development for the Register. Reach her at [email protected] or 515-284-8259. Follow her on Twitter @KimNorvellDMR.

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