Pier 1 Closing 450 Stores, Planning Bankruptcy Filing
Like clockwork, once the holiday shopping season ends, the store closure announcements begin. The latest participant in the ongoing retailpocolypse is Pier 1, which announced plans yesterday to close up to 450 stores as it weighs a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Pier 1 currently operates 942 stores, so the closures represent a nearly 50% reduction in its retail footprint.
As of today, no list of store closures has been announced. Pier 1 operates four regional locations in Central Ohio in the following areas:
- Polaris Fashion Place – 1320 Polaris Parkway
- Easton Town Center – 3970 Morse Crossing
- Sawmill – 6672 Sawmill Road
- Lancaster – 2015 Schorrway Drive
Meanwhile, shopping malls in general have continued to struggle. A new report from Financial Times reveals that vacancy rates are at a 20 year high, surpassing recession-era levels.
Experts have cited several immediate reasons for the high vacancy rates, including changing consumer trends, online shopping competition from Amazon, and high commercial rental rates.
Longer term trends include the “over-retailing” of America, which went through a period of explosive growth in the 1980s and 1990s, coupled with a slowing in the growth of the national population of the United States. While countries like China and the UK have retail square footage per capita ratios of 2.8 and 4.6 respectively, the US has 23.5 square feet of retail space per person, leaving a lot of room for downsizing to fit the global norm.
Stay tuned for updates on Pier 1 as a store closure list is unveiled.