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The bankruptcy of Pier 1 came as a shock to many retailers.
Pier 1 had an excellent reputation, among customers and vendors.
The retailer sells home furnishings, rugs, decor, dining room sets, and other accessories for the home.
Once upon a time, its stores were the number one destination for affluent professionals who were looking to spruce up their homes.
So what went wrong?
While it's easy to blame the Internet as a catch all retail killer, this time it really was.
Between Amazon, and Bed Bath and Beyond's ecommerce site, Pier 1 was left out in the proverbial den while the real party had moved on to the dining room.
While Pier 1 did try to distinguish itself from its competitors, it didn't, or couldn't, do enough to compete with the millions of products offered cumulatively by its competitors.
Retailers should take note, and absorb the following lessons.
1. Retailers should develop and market their own private label products.
2. Retailers should look for closeout opportunity buys.
3. Retailers should secure exclusive product offerings.
4. Retailers need to be flexible. If one business model is not working, it's time to try another product line, or even business segment.
While none of these strategies can guarantee success, these strategies can enable a store to stand out in a crowded marketplace.