NEW YORK—Pier 1 has returned—albeit in an online-only form.
Parent company Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV) officially relaunched the 58-year-old home furnishings retailer after purchasing the brand this July. Pier 1 closed its brick-and-mortar locations this year as part of its bankruptcy plan.
“At REV, we transform beloved brands like Pier 1 into Internet-first companies positioned for robust growth,” said Tai Lopez, executive chairman and co-founder of REV. “Central to our playbook is retaining the brand’s strengths. It’s why we retained veteran buyers from Pier 1 to reengage with vendors and bring back the merchandise our customers know and love.”
REV acquired the rights to Pier 1’s trademark name, intellectual property, data and various e-commerce related assets for $31 million. It also retained about 15 of the brand’s buying, marketing and customer-support personnel, it said, and revamped the site’s functionality and look. It also moved Pier 1’s team to Dallas from Fort Worth, Texas.
“We have made tremendous progress in revamping the site, with much-improved discovery, filtering and search capabilities,” said Shayan Zadeh, Pier 1’s CEO. Zadeh is a serial entrepreneur and cofounded and led dating platform Zoosk, which sold for $298 million in 2019, a release said. “In addition to completely redesigning the look, feel and functionality of Pier1.com, we’re sharply focused on the mobile side, with iPhone and Android apps coming in Q1 2021.”
The relaunched online store offers hundreds of familiar SKUs in categories such as holiday and seasonal, furniture, pillows and cushions, dining and entertaining, décor, lighting and candles, rugs, curtains, bed and bath, and outdoor. Zadeh added that shifting to an e-commerce model frees Pier 1 of the limitations associated with brick-and-mortar stores. “It means we’re able to add hundreds of exciting new SKUs to Pier1.com even as we explore a wider array of potential new offerings.”
Brian Thompson, formerly the brand’s director of global sourcing, has been hired to serve as chief merchandising and supply chain officer. Earlier this month, he took part in a Zoom call with hundreds of Pier 1 shoppers, who quizzed the new team on its plans for the brand as well as the coming availability of products like Li Bien Christmas ornaments and Pier 1 signature fragrances, the company said.
“As someone who has spent most of his adult life with Pier 1, it was exciting to see the high level of engagement on that call,” Thompson said. “We share the love that came through for Pier 1 and are looking forward to taking this journey with our customers and investors.”
In addition, its restarting its Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts, said A.J. Bhatia, chief marketing officer. “Our loyal customers continue to use #pier1love to share their tabletops and other design ideas—and we’re also working on a new blog called ‘Pier 1 of a Kind,’” he said.
So far this year, REV has also acquired the brand assets and e-commerce businesses of Linens ‘n Things, Franklin Mint and Modell’s Sporting Goods. In 2019, the investment firm purchased the brand assets and e-commerce business of Dressbarn from Ascena Retail Group Inc. Since relaunching Dress Barn’s e-commerce site earlier this year, the brand saw a 165 percent, quarter-over-quarter sales increase in Q2, followed by an additional 50 percent jump in Q3, the company said.