businessRetail

Pier 1 Imports reopens for its final closing sales starting Memorial Day weekend

Sephora reopens in Texas on Friday. American Girl, Bed Bath & Beyond and Crate & Barrel have opened in the past week. Who’s still not open? Apple, Cost Plus World Market and some Gap stores.

For generations, Pier 1 Imports was the place to pick up a few things as outdoor entertaining season revved up on Memorial Day weekend.

Pier 1 loyalists, you get to go and do it one more time.

Going-out-of-business sales start Friday as Pier 1 winds down its operations after an unsuccessful bankruptcy reorganization.

Retailers never let a three-day weekend go to waste, even during a pandemic, and stores have been hustling to open with health and safety standards in place.

Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, American Girl and other retailers are among the brands that have opened in the past week.

American Girl at Galleria Dallas is resuming doll hair salon appointments on Saturday, and its bistro opens Monday. As stores reopen, they’re still not sure about customer response, so many of them are coming back with abbreviated store hours. American Girl is closing at 6 p.m., and Crate & Barrel is only open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sephora is reopening its first batch of stores, 70 locations, in a few states on Friday. In Texas, it’s opening 31 stores, including 12 in Dallas-Fort Worth in malls such as NorthPark Center and Galleria Dallas. Sephora said it has added 48 safety procedures and has put its employees through extensive training to make what was a high-touch place safe for the pandemic era.

Most Pier 1 stores in Dallas-Fort Worth will be open Friday. Shoppers can plug in their ZIP codes on Pier 1’s website to find out where to go for items, such as colorful cushions, poolside lanterns and acrylic margarita glasses, that once were unique to Pier 1. The company had been struggling in recent years with more competition and was trying to reorganize around 450 stores or find a buyer, but the pandemic put the kibosh on those prospects.

Who still hasn’t opened? Apple Stores and Cost Plus World Market, which is providing curbside pickup from noon to 6 p.m. Even large national chains have had to space out their store openings. On Friday, Burlington said, it will open eight of its local stores in Dallas-Fort Worth after opening the 14 others on May 15. At NorthPark, just over half of the stores are open.

Nonessential stores have been allowed to reopen since May 1 in Texas. Locally owned stores have been some of the first to reopen.

Talulah & Hess is a lifestyle boutique on Live Oak and Skillman in East Dallas.
Talulah & Hess is a lifestyle boutique on Live Oak and Skillman in East Dallas.(Talulah & Hess)

Elizabeth Mast, who owns Talulah & Hess, a lifestyle boutique on Live Oak and Skillman in East Dallas, said she “lost a lot of sleep trying to decide should we open or shouldn’t we.”

The store, which is known in East Dallas for always having fresh white hydrangeas in stock, and chocolates and wine in addition to gifts, art, apparel and furniture, has a loyal customer base.

“It was really hard to be closed and really hard to reopen,” Mast said. “So far, business is OK for the circumstances, considering everything. We have customers who come by two or three times a week.”

For the bigger chains, it remains a slow process.

Macy’s started reopening its stores on May 4 and said Thursday that it has about 190 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores open and expects to have another 80 Macy’s stores open for Memorial Day weekend. Its Texas stores opened two weeks ago.

Customer demand in reopened stores so far “is moderately higher than anticipated,” Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said, but he didn’t put a number on it.

Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass said half of the company’s 1,100 stores are open this week in states that have allowed operations to resume, including Texas. Those stores are seeing about 50% to 60% of usual performance this time of year.

Gap has opened many of its Texas stores, but the ones in Dallas at the Galleria and NorthPark aren’t open yet.

J.C. Penney will open more stores this week in Texas and a few other states. It has opened 153 out of 864 stores so far. It plans to open another batch of stores soon.

U.S. retail sales fell a record 16.4% from March to April, the full month when malls and stores deemed nonessential by government stay-at-home orders were closed.

While stores have reopened in some states, it’s not clear how U.S. retail sales will recover in May as 38.6 million Americans, including 2.65 million Texans, have filed for initial unemployment benefits since mid-March.

Twitter: @MariaHalkias

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Maria Halkias, Staff writer. Maria Halkias has covered the retail scene for The Dallas Morning News since 1993.

mhalkias@dallasnews.com /maria.halkias @MariaHalkias Instagram Iconmariahalkias LinkedIn Iconhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/MariaHalkias
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