Pier 1 on Tuesday announced it has implemented a furlough program, which impacts about 65% of its home office staff, as well as some store and distribution associates.
The company also cut compensation by 20% for retained associates,"who are critical to ensuring business continuity and a seamless customer experience on Pier1.com," according to a Pier 1 press release. For corporate employees at the executive vice president level or higher, the company is reducing salaries by 50%, and reducing by 30% for senior vice presidents.
"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, the company's CEO and CFO, said in a statement.
The home goods retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February after falling sales and lost market share to competitors ranging from Wayfair to TJX's HomeGoods. In court documents at the time of its filing, Pier 1 said it had already commenced going-out-of-business sales at 400 of the 450 stores it previously said it would close.
However, with physical stores temporarily shuttering, retailers cannot properly conduct store closing sales, a key component of many bankruptcy plans. Store liquidation sales help retailers in bankruptcy pay back creditors, beginning with secured lenders.
Modell's Sporting Goods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month with plans to liquidate its entire 134-store footprint. But on Tuesday, the sporting goods retailer asked a New Jersey bankruptcy judge to postpone its Chapter 11 case by 60 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic making going-out-of-business sales impossible, according to a Law360 report.
Store concept b8ta also furloughed 250 of its retail workers, amid pay cuts to corporate staff and layoffs, Women's Wear Daily reported. Earlier this month, the National Retail Federation warned that up to 4 million retail workers may lose their jobs this year, with about 2 million of those jobs being "imperiled" in March, April and May, Women's Wear Daily reported.
But glimmers of hope arose early Wednesday morning as lawmakers and the Trump administration reached a deal for an estimated $2 trillion stimulus package. The deal will provide direct financial checks to many Americans, expand unemployment insurance, provide hundreds in billions of dollars in loans to small and large businesses and offer additional resources to health care providers.