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Pier 1 Peoria, Bloomington stores look to survive company bankruptcy

PIER 1

PEORIA (WEEK) - Home furnishings retailer Pier 1 plans to close about half of all of its stores, but its Peoria and Bloomington locations are apparently not on the closure list.

Employees at the Central Illinois locations said Monday there are no plans to close the stores at 5115 W. Holiday Dr. in Peoria and at 1 Auto Row Drive in Bloomington. However, a media relations spokesperson has not responded to requests for comment.

Pier 1 announced Monday it started voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, and it's looking to sell the company. As part of the bankruptcy, Pier 1 said it plans to complete the previously announced closure of up to 450 stores, including all of its stores in Canada.

Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, said in a news release, “In recent months, we have taken significant steps forward in our business transformation and cost-reduction initiatives. 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," Riesbeck also said.

"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,” Riesbeck also said.

To date, Pier 1 has closed or initiated going-out-business sales at over 400 locations. The company is also in the process of closing two distribution centers, according to a Pier 1 news release.

Howard Packowitz

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