Sad news for fans of Pier 1 Imports, as the company announced today that it has filed for bankruptcy and will soon begin the process of closing its stores - including the one in Victoria.

In a news release issued by the Forth Worth-based company on May 19, the company said it is preparing to "begin an orderly wind-down of the Company's retail operations as soon as reasonably possible", which will depend on when stores nationwide can temporarily reopen following state-mandated closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once stores begin reopening, you can expect to see liquidation sales.

Our business manager here at Townsquare Media Killeen-Temple is a huge fan of Pier 1, and was devastated to hear they were closing. I imagine a number of people will be upset, not least of all employees who will now need to find other jobs.

If you're a collector of the fine items they sell at Pier 1, you can still visit their online shop at pier1.com. My boss has a gift card for Pier 1 which she receieved for Christmas. Hopefully she can use it online to get a few things before the company shuts down.

2020 was already a tough year for Pier 1, as former CEO Marvin J. Girouard passed away on March 28 after a ruptured appendix caused septic shock. Girouard, who the Fort Worth Business Press reports served as CEO between 1998 and 2007, was credit with leading the company to its growth into a $2.8 billion operation at its peak.

The Associated Press reports that the company struggled in recent years against online competitors such as Wayfair and Amazon, and was unable to find a buyer for its business.

Many retail giants have had a tough time competing with online merchants in recent years, and it's always sad to see them have to close most or all of their stores. That takes a real toll on employees and consumers, and is particularly tragic when closures are caused by circumstances like COVID-19 lockdowns.

To all the employees affected, I wish you all the best and I'm so sorry to see this happen.