As part of a deal with its new owner, Retail Ecommerce Ventures(REV), Pier 1 will re-launch as a fully virtual store. Through the new deal, Pier 1’s trademark name and e-commerce assets will be transferred to the online store.
Pier 1 filed for bankruptcy this past February, and as such, had to close down all of its physical locations. However, after being purchased by REV in June, the home decor retailer could get a lucky break at rebuilding its business. Transforming the formerly brick and mortar brand into a fully digital enterprise could help Pier 1 secure a retail comeback, particularly as virtual home decor shopping surges during the Coronavirus pandemic and traffic to brand sites increases by 34%, according to a Gartner report on the topic. Through the online store, Pier 1 will continue to sell home decor across multiple categories, including dining decor, furniture, and holiday and seasonal decorations. The revamped website officially launched just in time for the release of its 2020 holiday decor, which homebound consumers can now purchase for delivery.
When the retailer originally shut down for business, it took its social media channels with it. However, with the opening of its online store, Pier 1 reactivated its Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. Through theses channels, Pier 1 is spreading the word about its new venture with the hashtag #Pier1Love, which customers are also encouraged to use to show off their new, digital purchases. Additionally, Pier 1 doubles down on its new digital identity by leaning into virtual events to connect with home shoppers. For example, the retailer will host an online webinar this month that walks viewers through its new business plan while also offering decor ideas and a sneak peak at its new items. Pier 1 will also launch a digital blog called “Pier 1 Of A Kind”, where consumers can read about new collections, view furniture staging ideas, and hear about sales. The menu of media initiatives could help Pier 1 bounce back from its period of bankruptcy and connect with an engaged audience of e-commerce shoppers.
As the Coronavirus pandemic wears on and many brick and mortar stores continue to face economic loss, re-launching as a digital marketplace could benefit Pier 1 in the long run. With its remodeled website and online presence, Pier 1 could show other retailers that not all hope is lost for traditional brick and mortar stores, and in fact, a profitable future could prevail online.