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Cornelius News

Showcase store in Birkdale Village to close by fall

May 20. Pier 1 Imports, the home decor retailer with a prime corner location in Birkdale Village, announced Tuesday, May 19 that it will begin closing all of its company’s 540 stores once they are able to reopen following mandated shutdowns.

The loss of such an established anchor on a highly visible corner is a blow to Birkdale Village in the midst of a global pandemic that has seen major retailers like JC Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew also file bankruptcy.

The store in Birkdale Village is temporarily closed until May 30. Pier 1’s message said store closing dates will vary by location, but stores will continue to be open through early fall 2020.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Barnes & Noble and Regal Cinemas anchor the mall. They’re complemented by stores from major national brands such as Williams-Sonoma, Talbots, Victoria’s Secret,  American Eagle, Starbucks, Banana Republic, Gap and Gap Kids—and Pier 1 Imports.

COVID-19 impact

When Pier 1 filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, it said it would be selling its assets.

Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer said in a news release this week, “We deeply value our associates, customers, business partners and the communities in which we operate, and this is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve.

“This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward. 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.”

Together with its financial and legal advisors, Pier 1 engaged in a “thorough” analysis of all available alternatives prior to deciding on this course of action, the release says.

“Ultimately, due to the combination of a challenging retail environment and the new reality and uncertainty of a post-COVID world, the company and its advisors determined that an orderly wind-down is the best way to maximize the value of Pier 1’s assets,” the release says.

As part of the wind-down, Pier 1 intends to sell its inventory and remaining assets, including its intellectual property and e-commerce business, through the court-supervised process.

Pier 1 did not respond to a Cornelius Today / Business Today request for details about the closing timeline for the store in Birkdale Village. This story will be updated as details are learned.