Pier 1 Imports, which filed for Chapter 11 in February, is taking additional measures to preserve liquidity and mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a worker furlough program.
The retailer is implementing a furlough program across its business, including for approximately 65% of home office associates and for certain store and distribution associates, until further notice. The decision, which is effective as of March 23, follows the company’s March 22 announcement that it has temporarily closed its stores nationwide to support the country’s efforts to combat COVID-19. Pier 1 is continuing to serve customers through its website and orders are being processed and filled as normal.
In connection with the furlough program, the company is reducing compensation by 20% for retained associates, who are critical to ensuring business continuity and a seamless customer experience online. At the corporate level, Pier 1 is reducing pay for executive vice presidents and above by 50%, and reducing compensation for senior vice presidents by 30%. In addition, compensation for all members of the Pier 1 board of directors will be reduced or deferred by 50%. All reductions in pay are also effective as of March 23 and will remain in effect for a period to be determined.
“Like many retailers that have temporarily closed stores in response to COVID-19, we are making difficult decisions that are necessary to preserve value in our business for the long-term benefit of our associates, customers and other stakeholders,” said Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s CEO and chief financial officer. “We are incredibly grateful to our associates for their commitment to our customers and our company, and we will continue to take appropriate actions to position Pier 1 for the future.”
Pier 1 said it will continue to follow the guidelines of government and health officials in determining when it will reopen its offices and planned go-forward stores.