The home decor chain has been in business for more than 50 years.

Another retail store chain is pulling the plug. Home decor chain Pier 1 Imports has asked the bankruptcy court to allow the company to initiate a full liquidation of the business. Pier 1 filed for bankruptcy in February and claims the COVID-19 crisis has made it too difficult to find a buyer. The company has more than 540 stores across the country and plans to liquidate stores as soon they are allowed to reopen. 

The first Pier 1 store opened in 1962 in San Mateo, California, under a different name. It sold a variety of inexpensive imported items, mainly rattan furniture. The store and its kitschy inventory became popular throughout the '70s, expanding to more than 120 locations in the U.S. The modern-day Pier 1 sells a variety of home decor, including furniture, candles, dinnerware, and more. Like other retail companies, sales have suffered due to the accessibility of furniture and home decor through the internet.

On Tuesday, May 19, the company put a message on its website announcing the intention to close stores. For now, the company says online sales will continue and stores will begin liquidating in the fall.

Pie 1 Imports logo

Courtesy Pier 1 Imports, Facebook

“We are grateful to our dedicated and hardworking associates, customers, business partners, and the communities in which we operate, and this is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve,” said Robert Riesbeck, chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Pier 1 Imports. “This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward.”

The announcement by Pier 1 Imports comes days after JCPenney filed for bankruptcy and said it would close 30 percent of its stores. Regional furniture retailer Wolf Furniture announced it would close and liquidate stores in March, only to be halted by the coronavirus crisis.