For the last 18 months, Noah Shaffer has been counseling retail landlords who lease space to Pier 1 Imports to be ready for the company to declare bankruptcy.
Pier 1, known for its eclectic mix of home goods and furniture, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. This week, the Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer said that it was unable to find a buyer for its business and that it will close all stores nationwide. Shaffer’s clients, however, were ready and already in talks with new tenants to take the space.
Navigating tenant bankruptcies will be far more challenging in the era of Covid-19. The novel coronavirus pandemic has forever changed the restaurant and retail business, beginning with stay-at-home orders across the U.S. in March and April to a severe drop-off in consumer spending. A wave of bankruptcies is expected in both the retail and restaurant industries in the coming months, affecting everyone from national chains to mom-and-pop shops.