TORONTO Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. says it has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and plans to close all Canadian stores as part of its restructuring process.
The Texas-based company has been struggling with increased competition from budget-friendly online retailers such as Wayfair.
Pier 1 says it will pursue a sale, with a March 23 deadline to submit bids.
The company last month announced it would close 450 stores, including all its Canadian locations.
Pier 1’s Canadian website now directs customers to a short statement announcing the closures and thanks them for their loyalty.
The company is also commencing creditor protection proceedings in Canada.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP are serving as Canadian legal advisers.
In a statement Monday, the company said it will continue to shutter stores as part of its bankruptcy proceedings. The company, which was founded in 1962, is also closing two distribution centres.
A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In the meantime, Pier 1 said lenders have committed approximately $256 million in debtor-in-possession financing so it can continue its operations during the Chapter 11 proceedings.
“Today’s actions are intended to provide Pier 1 with additional time and financial flexibility as we now work to unlock additional value for our stakeholders through a sale of the company,” Pier 1 CEO and Chief Financial Officer Robert Riesbeck said in a statement. Riesbeck, an executive with previous corporate turnarounds, joined Pier 1 last summer.
Pier 1’s sales fell 13% to $358 million in its most recent quarter, which ended Nov. 30. It reported a net loss of $59 million for the quarter as it struggled to draw customers to its stores. Pier 1 has been trying to declutter its stores, improve online sales and draw in younger customers.
Pier 1’s shares have fallen 45% since the start of the year. They closed at $3.58 per share on Friday.