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Pier 1 will cut up to half its locations, leaving the future of Tampa Bay stores unclear

The chain has 12 locations between Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.
This June 15, 2005, file photo shows a Pier 1 Imports store in Dallas. Pier 1 Imports is closing nearly half its stores as it struggles to draw consumers and compete online. The home decor company said Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, it is closing up to 450 stores and will also shutter distribution centers. It didn't say where the store closures would occur, but it operates stores in the U.S. and Canada. Pier 1 also plans layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam, File) [DONNA MCWILLIAM  |  AP]
This June 15, 2005, file photo shows a Pier 1 Imports store in Dallas. Pier 1 Imports is closing nearly half its stores as it struggles to draw consumers and compete online. The home decor company said Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, it is closing up to 450 stores and will also shutter distribution centers. It didn't say where the store closures would occur, but it operates stores in the U.S. and Canada. Pier 1 also plans layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam, File) [DONNA MCWILLIAM | AP]
Published Jan. 7

Pier 1 plans to close up to half of its stores, leaving an uncertain future for employees that work at the dozen or so locations around Tampa Bay.

Pier 1 said in a statement to investors that it would shutter up to 450 of its more than 900 locations, close certain distribution centers and cut some corporate positions at its Fort Worth, Texas headquarters. Pier 1 did not say which locations or how many positions would be cut, but that it was using a third-party liquidator to manage the closings.

The company says it will also change its operating structure to better meet demands of modern shoppers, who want to order online both to their homes or to stores to pick up their items. The home decor chain’s lenders approved the plan on Monday.

The store has faced increasing competition from popular online retailers, such as Wayfair and Amazon. Other brick-and-mortar retailers such as Target and Walmart have also increased their online furniture offerings in recent years.

“Although decisions that impact our associates are never easy, reducing the number of our brick-and-mortar locations is a necessary business decision,” said CEO Robert Riesbeck in a statement. "We thank our team of hard-working associates for their commitment to Pier 1 and to serving our customers.”

Year-to-day, Pier 1 sales have declined 14.3 percent and the retailer has reported losses of $241 million.

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