It Seems Like Trouble Is Brewing For Once-Popular Home Retail Chain

While many say the “retail apocalypse” isn’t happening, it’s hard to stay optimistic when so many once-popular stores are struggling. The next retailer that industry experts think could be in trouble is Pier 1 Imports. 

While many say the “retail apocalypse” isn’t happening, it’s hard to stay optimistic when so many once-popular stores are struggling.

Sure, some retailers are on the up-and-up — take, for example, Japanese stores that are currently having a moment — but for the past couple of years, a lot of stores have seen their downfall. Not just little retailers, but big name stores and brands that we grew up with.

This year alone, we said farewell to Jean Machine, Sears, and Town Shoes. And last year, retailers like Express, BCBG, and Bebe closed their doors.

pier 1 imports struggling
Instagram/@pier1whitby

The next retailer that industry experts think could be in trouble is Pier 1 Imports.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Pier 1 Imports’ CEO stepped down after the company’s efforts to turnaround business had failed. The three year plan, which was dubbed “New Day,” aimed to reduce clutter and inventory in stores to drive revenue growth. Unfortunately, prior to the plan, the company had not seen profit for the last three quarters, and the efforts have been unsuccessful thus far.

Since the announcement, Pier 1 Imports have appointed Cheryl Bachelder as its Interim CEO and have brought in Credit Suisse, an investment banking company, to look at “strategic alternatives,” including the sale of the company.

pier 1 struggling
Instagram/@pier1heartland

Things don’t look too hopeful for Pier 1 Imports.

In April of 2018, Pier 1 announced 25 store closures across North America, and 6 of those store locations were in Canada — Quebec to be more specific. Currently, the retailer has 9 stores in the GTA and 65 stores across the country.

Warren Shoulberg a Senior Contributor to Forbes thinks the home furnishings and decor retailer “suffers from too many stores,” poor locations, bad merchandising, undesirable furniture, and an underdeveloped e-commerce strategy. He believes that Pier 1 will likely be looking at bankruptcy or a “radical reordering of its operations” at the very least.

Reuters notes that Pier 1 Imports simply cannot keep up with its competition, which includes Pottery Barn and William-Sonoma. It certainly doesn’t help that options for more affordable, stylish decor — like H&M Home, HomeSense, and more — are thriving.

pier 1 struggling
Instagram/@pier1stcatharines

Time is of the essence for the home furniture and decor retailer.

Bachelder has just a short period of time to make a difference. When speaking to analysts, she said, “What we need to do now is narrow our focus, pace and sequence our initiatives and reengineer our cost structure.”

Only time will tell if Pier 1 can turn its business around.

Featured image: Pier 1 Imports