SEEKONK — Pier 1 Imports, a nationwide home furnishings retailer, is closing all its stores, including one at 145 Highland Ave. (Route 6) near Stop & Shop and BJ’s Warehouse.
The company, known for its colorful housewares and wicker furniture, declared bankruptcy in February and had planned to close half its approximately 540 stores.
But its financial situation was further eroded by having to temporarily close along with other retailers because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward,” Pier 1 CEO and Chief Financial Officer Robert Riesbeck said 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.”
Along with many other stores, Pier 1 has been facing stiff competition from online sales and mammoth retailers such as Target, Walmart, Amazon and TJ Maxx that were able to offer home items at cheaper prices.
Pier 1 used to have a store in Fashion Crossing plaza off Route 1 in North Attleboro, but that closed. There are still Pier I stores in Norwood and Bellingham, among other area locations.
Pier 1 is asking the bankruptcy court to approve “an orderly wind-down” as soon as its stores are able to reopen. That would include a sale of its inventory and other assets through a court-supervised process.
The retail chain, which started with one store in 1962 in California, is based in Fort Worth, Texas.