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Store closing signs hang in the window of a Pier 1 imports store on Monday in Chicago, Illinois. The struggling retailer announced Monday that it had filed for bankruptcy and was closing 450 stores, including its location in Boulder. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)
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The Pier 1 Imports Inc. store at 2530 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder will close as part of a major scale-back of brick and mortar stores for the home furnishings importer based in Fort Worth, Texas.

Pier 1 (NYSE: PIR) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Eastern District of Virginia on Monday, but the announcement that it would close 450 stores and two distribution centers in the United States and Canada actually happened in January. The bankruptcy action is meant to facilitate the closure of the 450 stores — about half of what Pier 1 has — and deal with lease obligations and agreements with vendors and lenders. It also is intended to facilitate sale of the company.

In addition to Boulder, the company will close Colorado locations in Littleton, and Avon, and two stores in Colorado Springs. The company plans to retain operations at stores in Loveland and Fort Collins.

Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s CEO and chief financial officer, said in a news release that the company is in the process of a transformation and needs to reduce its costs.

“We have worked to establish an appropriately sized and profitable store footprint, operating structure and merchandise assortment that will enable Pier 1 to better serve our customers across store and online channels. Today’s actions are intended to provide Pier 1 with additional time and financial flexibility as we now work to unlock additional value for our stakeholders through a sale of the company. We are moving ahead in this process with the support of our lenders and are pleased with the initial interest as we engage in discussions with potential buyers.”

The company’s filing on Monday includes “first-day motions” that include requests to pay wages and benefits of employees and honor customer commitments. It also asked the court to permit it to pay vendors and suppliers for all goods and services provided on or after the Chapter 11 filing date.

Pier 1 would like bids for the company through the court-approved sale process to be submitted by March 23, Riesbeck said in his statement.

The bankruptcy filing listed the range of company assets at $500 million to $1 billion and a similar range for liabilities.

Its most recent quarterly earnings filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed a net loss of $241 million through three quarters of  fiscal year 2020, or a loss of $58.36 per share.

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