Pier I Cutting Jobs, Negotiating Lower Rents in Effort to Reduce Cost Structure

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Dallas Pier 1 Imports Inc. said Tuesday that it is trying to lower its store rents, will cut staff and close its distribution center in St. Charles, Ill., in an effort to trim costs.

The company, which had been struggling even before the recession, will cut 10% of full-time equivalent positions in its DC, home office and field-administration units. The exact number of jobs affected wasn't immediately available.

Separately, Pier 1 has started negotiating with landlords to lower store rents. The retailer has engaged an outside firm, DJM Realty, to assist in completing these negotiations by the end of May. Pier I said it will have to record early termination agreements to close up to 125 underperforming store locations if it can't negotiate cheaper rents.

The company expects to incur costs related to this announcement of approximately $5 million for severance, outplacement and other charges.