With everything in the store up to 30 percent off and men on nearby streets carrying signs advertising the giant sale, the future of Oak Park’s Pier 1, 1143 Lake St., it seemed likely that the store is closing.

After weeks of speculation, Pier 1 Director of Communications Jennifer Engstrand Reeder confirmed the closure in a statement emailed Dec. 16 to Wednesday Journal:

“The Pier 1 store location in Oak Park will close when our lease expires in spring 2020. As a matter of practice, we do everything we can to support our associates during this time of transition. We care about our customers in this area and have enjoyed serving them over the years. We look forward to serving them at our locations on Kingsbury Street in Lincoln Park and West Touhy Avenue in Niles, as well as online at pier1.com.” 

The 8,088-square-foot property is listed as available for lease in a Mid-America Real Estate brochure.

“The store is having a continuous sale,” said the store manager, Ishmael, who declined to give his last name. 

Oak Park Economic Development Corporation (OPEDC) did not have any information prior to the issued statement from Pier 1.

“Pier 1 has not specifically announced, or even told us, that the Oak Park store is closing,” said OPEDC Executive Director John Lynch, in a Dec. 11 email. 

The closure, however, is not much of a surprise. On April 17, the corporation reported decreased sales for quarter four and the full fiscal year of 2019. Interim CEO Cheryl Bachelder called the results “disappointing.”

The report to investors also stated the corporation planned to close more stores. 

“After closing 30 stores in fiscal 2019, the company is considering closing up to 45 locations in fiscal 2020 as leases expire,” the report read.

Bachelder announced June 26, in a quarterly earnings call, the number of potential closures in fiscal year 2020 had risen to 57 stores.

With Christmas right around the corner and the store’s inventory discounted, their sales of seasonal scented candles may rise as well. 

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