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Pier 1 to close stores; bankruptcy looming?

Another big retailer may be filing for bankruptcy soon.

Pier 1 announced it would be closing up to 450 retail locations, or nearly half of its stores, as well as certain distribution centers to help reduce its corporate expenses.

In its corporate financial report released Jan. 6, Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s CEO and CFO, said: “Fiscal third quarter sales and margins remained under pressure as we completed our efforts to clear out non-go-forward merchandise. Looking ahead, we believe that we will deliver improved financial results over time as we realize the benefits of our business transformation and cost-reduction initiatives.”

Its corporate head count also will be reduced, and one Bloomberg report suggests a 40 percent cut in staff.

A third-party liquidator will help manage the store closings, although locations were not announced.

“Although decisions that impact our associates are never easy, reducing the number of our brick-and-mortar locations is a necessary business decision,” Riesbeck added. “We thank our team of hard-working associates for their commitment to Pier 1 and to serving our customers.”

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