Business

The rise and fall of Pier 1

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Pier 1 Imports — the trendy home goods store that sold scented candles and wicker baskets to a generation of yuppies — has turned off the lights.

The brand that once challenged consumers to look “beyond the beige” filed for bankruptcy in February after years of lackluster sales. According to court documents, the company planned to close hundreds of stores and then reopen. But it announced in May it was winding down its entire business and selling off its remaining inventory due in part to the coronavirus pandemic.  

Pier 1 CEO Robert Riesbeck said in court papers that the company was the victim of a “perfect storm” created by a myriad of factors that have changed the way consumers and retailers interact. 

But analysts say changing consumer tastes, an influx of new competitors and several key decisions by management led to the company’s downfall. 

So after more than half a century in business what really led to Pier 1’s bankruptcy? And who has the most to gain from its fall?

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