Pier 1 Imports cuts most of Fort Worth headquarters staff, reduces pay for others

March 25,2020

See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Luke Ranker here.

Fort Worth-based Pier 1 Imports has temporarily cut most of the employees at its downtown headquarters and reduced the pay for remaining staff.

At least 65% of the company’s downtown workforce and some distribution center employees were laid off Tuesday until further notice, the company said in a prepared statement. Remaining employees had their salaries cut by 20%.

Cuts were steeper for top level executives. Senior vice presidents’ salaries were cut 30%, and pay was sliced in half for executive vice presidents and above. Board members also took a 50% pay cut.

It’s unclear how many people the layoffs affected. In 2018, the company had 870 employees downtown, but reduced the staff early last year by at least 20.

“Like many retailers that have temporarily closed stores in response to COVID-19, we are making difficult decisions that are necessary to preserve value in our business for the long-term benefit of our associates, customers and other stakeholders,” Robert Riesbeck, chief executive officer and chief financial officer, said in a prepared statement. “We are incredibly grateful to our associates for their commitment to our customers and our company, and we will continue to take appropriate actions to position Pier 1 for the future.”

Pier 1 has struggled, even before the outbreak of coronavirus closed all of its nearly 1,000 stores.

The Star-Telegram reported in February the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Pier 1 officials said then they would seek bids from prospective buyers through March 23 as part of the bankruptcy process. The Dallas Morning News reported the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richomond, Va., set an auction date for March 31 and a confirmation hearing on April 23.

The company said last June it would close 57 stores, foreshadowing a plan made public in January to permanently close half of its stores and layoff about 40% of its employees.

On Wednesday morning, the company’s stock was down about 12.5% to 17 cents.

Location Mentioned: Pier 1 Imports Building