This looks to be an interesting tactic. Pier 1 is shooting to lower its rents and it's sending a strong signal to landlords that if its rents aren't lowered, it will seek to terminate on up to 125 stores. For now, I'm not going to add Pier 1 to the growing list of closures since none of this is official. But this is something to keep tabs on.
The retailer said it may execute early termination agreements for up to 125 underperforming stores if rental reduction negotiations on those locations are unsuccessful. The negotiations with landlords is expected to be completed by the end of May. The company has more than 1,100 stores.
The recession and weak housing market have forced home-goods chains to drastically cut costs. Last month, rival Williams-Sonoma Inc announced it would cut 18 percent of its full-time work force and reduce occupancy expenses.