Pier 1 implements furlough program across business; slashes pay for execs
Published Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Pier I Imports is temporarily laying off a large number of its employees and reducing pay for those that remain to help mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19.

The struggling home goods retailer, which filed for bankruptcy protection in February and is pursuing a sale, has implemented a furlough program that includes approximately 65% of home office associates and for certain store and distribution employees. The program is in effect until further notice.

In addition, Pier 1 is reducing compensation by 20% for retained associates, “who are critical to ensuring business continuity and a seamless customer experience” on its e-commerce site. At the corporate level, Pier 1 is reducing pay for executive VPs and above by 50%, and reducing compensation for senior VPs by 30%.  

Also, compensation for all members of the chain’s board will be reduced or deferred by 50%. The furlough program and all pay reductions started March 23, and will remain in effect for a period to be determined, according to Pier 1.

“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, ” said Robert Riesbeck, CEO and CFO, Pier 1. “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 said the actions were taken “to preserve liquidity and mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As previously announced, Pier 1 is in the process of eliminating all non-essential expenditures and expenses.

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