Pier 1 May Survive As An E-commerce Retailer

Pier 1
Pier 1 stores may be closed, but the retail brand may live on.

Home goods retailer Pier 1 may be down, but the brand may not be out and could survive as an online-only outlet.

Several media reports on Monday, July 6, noted that investors are looking to purchase the Pier 1 brand and focus strictly on e-commerce.

According to the Wall St. Journal (subscription required), Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC is the leading bidder to acquire Pier 1’s intellectual property, data and other assets related to the e-commerce business for $20 million. 

Retail Ecommerce Ventures is owned by entrepreneurs Taino “Tai’ Lopez and Alex Mehr. The company in 2019 purchased the brand assets of Dressbarn and its e-commerce business from Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

In recent years, Pier 1 has struggled to maintain its niche in the retail marketplace. With most stores in strip malls or stand-alone, the company once best known for its unique assortment of imported tabletop, furniture and home furnishings has seen sales fade in recent years.

The Fort Worth, Tex.-based retailer started 2020 with 940 stores. Just after the start of the year, the company announced plans to cut its store count in half. In February, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A month later, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the company to temporarily close all stores, a decision that would later become permanent.

What remains unclear as of this writing is what product categories would be featured on a new Pier 1 e-commerce outlet. In addition, the company would be playing in a competitive retail landscape where online pure-plays such as Amazon and Wayfair dominate.