IYB Pier 1 Champaign

Pier 1 is shown on North Prospect Avenue in Champaign.

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Pier 1 will reopen its stores when that’s permitted, but only to liquidate as it proceeds with going out of business.

The Texas-based retailer had announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February and was seeking a buyer.

On Wednesday, the company announced it filed a motion seeking bankruptcy court approval to begin an orderly wind-down of its retail operation as soon as reasonably possible after stores are able to reopen from COVID-19 lockdowns.

Pier 1 said it continues to process online orders, and plans to start closing stores and liquidation sales once the stores can reopen.

“This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward,” said Pier 1 CEO/CFO Robert Riesbeck. “Unfortunately, the challenging retail environment has been significantly compounded by the profound impact of COVID-19, hindering our ability to secure such a buyer and requiring us to wind down.”

The Champaign store is at 2001 N. Prospect Ave.

Merged

Two Champaign-based janitorial supply companies are now under a common owner.

Chemical Maintenance Inc. merged with CDC Paper and Janitor Supply on May 1, and the merged company is owned and managed by CMI owners Brad and Betsy Parks.

Brad Parks said CDC owner Larry Craig was retiring and approached him and his wife about taking over the business.

Craig is helping with the transition, and one of two CDC employees is now on staff at CMI, Parks said.

CMI has been in business since 1972, and was acquired by Betsy and Brad Parks in 2015. CDC was locally owned and operated by Craig since 1984.

The two companies sold largely the same janitorial products and supplies and had a friendly relationship throughout the years, Brad Parks said.

CMI now has nine full-time and five part-time employees, he said.

Mall’s reopening

It’s unlikely many mall stores will reopen the first day they can, according to Market Place Shopping Center General Manager Dennis Robertson.

Planning is underway for safe reopening, he said, but most stores will need to recall their employees back from furlough after Gov. J.B. Pritzker provides further direction.

Kohl’s, along with five mall stores — Dick’s Sporting goods, Field & Stream, Pandora, Dr. G’s BrainWorks and Vitamin World — are open for curbside pickup, and Vitamin World is also open for indoor shoppers as an essential business. But the mall, itself, remains closed to the public for now, Robertson said.

When the mall does reopen, Robertson said, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except for Sunday, when the hours will be noon to 6 p.m.

Share news about your local business: Deb Pressey can be reached at 351-5229 or dpressey@news-gazette.media.