Pier 1 Imports in Missoula expected to close; Kalispell store closes in February

The loss of Pier 1 in Missoula would continue a run of retail business that have closed or dramatically downsized in past years, including Staples, Herbergers, Sears, Kmart, Shopko, Hastings and the Sports Authority.

The home décor store Pier 1 Imports in Missoula will likely close with dozens of other national locations, an employee knowledgeable with the company said Thursday.

The corporate office has not given a time frame and it did not confirm the alleged closure. Other employees also have said the store is closing.

The company plans to close 140 locations across the nation and as many as 15% of its stores, the International Business Times reported in September. Pier 1 reported a loss of $100 million in the second quarter of the 2019 Fiscal Year.

The Missoula employee, who asked not to be identified, said the Fort Worth, Texas, company sent a consultant “a few weeks ago and now everything in the store is on sale for eight weeks.”

“We don’t know from one day to the next what will happen,” the employee said. “Everything is on sale. I’m going to be straight-up with you. That could change tomorrow.”

Pier 1 Imports in Missoula employs around 13 people.

The loss of Pier 1 in Missoula would continue a run of retail business that have closed or dramatically downsized in past years, including Staples, Herbergers, Sears, Kmart, Shopko, Hastings and the Sports Authority.

Mike Arney, manager of the Pier 1 location in Kalispell, said his store will close on Feb. 26, sending its 12 employees looking for other work.

“This is a closing store, so it’s in liquidation right now,” said Arney. “They planned it back in September. We’ve known for awhile.”

Arney said he plans to stick around the Flathead even after the closure. He’s not concerned about his fellow employees finding jobs in the Kalispell region. He considers the employment outlook to be “pretty good.”

“There are a lot of openings,” he said. “I have a really good team. I don’t think they’ll have trouble finding a job.”

Pier 1 also has stores in Billings, Bozeman and Great Falls. It’s unclear whether those locations will close as well. The company reportedly closed 70 locations this year, leaving 951 locations still open in September.

Pier 1 reported a 12.6% decline in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the same quarter the year before. Net sales are down 14.3%, according to the International Business Times.

Contact Business Reporter Renata Birkenbuel at 406-565-0013 and renatab@missoulacurrent.com.