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Pier 1 Imports to close 1 of 3 El Paso stores as part of nationwide cuts

Pier 1 store
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images via CNN
A woman enters a Pier 1 store to shop in Louisville, Kentucky.

EL PASO, Texas -- Amid faltering sales as it struggles to draw consumers and compete online, Pier 1 Imports is closing one of its three El Paso stores as part of nationwide cuts.

A Pier 1 manager confirmed Friday to ABC-7 that the Fountains at Farah store, located at 8889 Gateway Blvd W, will be among roughly 450 stores shuttered nationwide. When the company first announced plans for store closures last week, it didn't indicate where those would occur.

While nearly half of Pier 1's retail locations are shutting down as the company reportedly nears a bankruptcy filing, the other two El Paso stores at Sunland Park Mall and Las Palmas Marketplace will remain open for now.

The home goods and decor retailer has been struggling for years against rising pressure online and from big-box rivals. Its stock, which was at $300 a share in 2015, is currently trading at under $5.

Pier 1 operated 942 stores in the United States and Canada at the end of its last quarter. It recently said the closures were needed "in order to better align its business with the current operating environment."

Pier 1 has said it will also close distribution centers and lay off employees at its Fort Worth headquarters. The company hasn't said how many workers in total will be impacted by all the cuts.

During the company's most recent quarter, sales decreased 13% as store traffic fell. The company also lost $59 million.

Investors continue wondering if a bankruptcy filing is imminent, given that Pier 1 recently added two members to its board with expertise in corporate restructuring.

Pier 1 named a new CEO with a background in corporate turnarounds last November. Robert Riesbeck previously served as the company's chief financial officer.

“Although decisions that impact our associates are never easy, reducing the number of our brick-and-mortar locations is a necessary business decision," Riesbeck said last week in a statement.

The company — which was founded in California in 1962 — has been trying to revamp its cluttered stores and change its offerings to appeal more to younger customers. But it is struggling to compete with budget-friendly home decor sites like Wayfair.

Pier 1 is far from the only casualty of competition and shifting consumer habits in retail.

In 2019, U.S. retailers announced 9,302 store closings, a 59% jump from 2018 and the highest number since Coresight Research began tracking the data in 2012.

Bed Bath & Beyond, a rival home decor retailer, has also struggled in recent years. Bed Bath & Beyond's new CEO, Mark Tritton, previously worked in Target's C-suite helping build the chain's popular stable of private-label clothing and home furnishings' brands.

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KVIA ABC-7

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