Pier 1 Imports isn’t dead — it’s just heading to the web.
The bankrupt home goods retailer — which revealed in May it was closing all of its 540 stores nationwide after 58 years in business — has sold the rights to its brand for $20 million to Retail ECommerce Ventures, a firm that bought the Dressbarn brand last year.
The licensing firm, which focuses on distressed assets, won Pier 1 Imports in a bankruptcy auction on Wednesday, its principal Tai Lopez told The Post. When going-out-of-business sales at stores wrap up in October, the company will strictly be an e-commerce business.
Founded in 1962 in San Mateo, Calif., under the moniker Cost Plus Imports, Pier 1 became a key shopping destination for wicker baskets, candles and glassware. But in recent years it victim to rising competition with the likes of Target, Wayfair and Amazon.
Pier 1 operated 936 stores at the beginning of the year. When it filed for bankruptcy protection in February, Pier 1 had hoped that closing more than 400 locations would help it get profitable again.
In March, however, the coronavirus forced Pier 1 to shutter its stores and hurt its efforts to find a buyer for the company. Many of the stores began reopening in May — only to sell everything off.
Sales were so brisk since the reopenings that the chain was “blowing through Black Friday levels,” Chief Executive Robert Riesbeck said during a court hearing.