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Pier 1 Imports staying in Paducah

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When a door closes, a window opens. Major chains closing doors in our area will have an effect on how we shop. Pier 1 Imports is the first major chain in 2020 to announce closings across its 936 stores. Last summer, Pizza Hut planned to close 500 dine-in restaurants to focus on carryout and modern day delivery. Macy's is continuing with its 2016 plan to close 100 stores, including one close to home, and other stores like Peebles in Mayfield are either rebranding, remodeling or repurposing.

Pier 1 Imports announced last week that it plans to close up to 450 stores. In addition to the store closings, it will close distribution centers and lay-off an undetermined amount of corporate employees. Robert Riesback, CEO and CFO, said, "It's a necessary business decision."

The company had recently overhauled its marketing and merchandising strategies. They hired a new advertising agency to 'freshen up' campaigns and provide new, creative ideas. The new strategies gave birth to 'elegant indigo' and 'calming eucalyptus' and other exotic combinations. Yet, with all the effort, fourth quarter sales were down 13% or $59 million.

There is good news for Pier 1 Imports in Paducah. One of the managers at the Kentucky Oaks Mall location just confirmed that her store will remain open.

Pizza Hut began streamlining its organization last summer. It announced that it would be closing 500 of its dine-in restaurants in order to change the way they interact with customers. Hinkleville Road dine-in restaurant closed more than two years ago and opened a carryout restaurant just down the road at West Park Plaza. Ordering hot meals and groceries online is the direction of the new consumer. Having the ability to place an order online makes is easier for the customer to stay home and these types of incentives are getting stronger.

The Louisville-based Yum! Brands that includes Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell shared their plan two years ago to close 500 dine-in stores only to replace them with express stores. So far, the plan seems to be working. The company is showing a profit, so don't discount the Hut. Macy's will be closing 15 stores in early 2020 and the Carbondale, IL store is one of those locations. In 2016, Macy's said it would close 100 stores after reporting a six-year consecutive decline in sales.

Macy's, at the University Mall in Carbondale, told employees this past week that the store was closing. The clearance sale is ongoing and will continue for another eight to 12 weeks. Macy's has been in Carbondale for 29 years. The Cape Girardeau store will remain open. The company says regular non-seasonal employees who aren't placed with other Macy stores will be eligible for severance, including outplacement resources. Peebles in Mayfield, KY will transition to Gordmans.

Peebles is at the Wyatt Crossing Shopping Center and will remain such until just days before the Grand Opening of Gordmans set for this spring. A company representative said that once the transition begins, it will take less than two weeks to implement. Stage Stores owns both Gordmans and Peebles. It's a department store retailer that specializes in retailing off-price brand apparel, footwear, housewares,and cosmetics.

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