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Pier 1 announces 125 possible closures

MEDFORD — Pier 1 Imports Inc. said Tuesday it will close some of its 125 underperforming stores if it's unable to renegotiate leases and may have to lay off as many as 850 workers.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based home-furnishings chain plans to cut up to 10 percent of its 8,500 full-time equivalent positions. There was no immediate word if the Pier 1 store at 3425 Crater Lake Highway in north Medford is on the list.

"No decision made at this time, regarding store closures," said Whitney Rogers, a Pier 1 spokeswoman in Fort Worth.

A local employee confirmed the store had received general information concerning Pier 1's plans, but declined to discuss specifics or the number of employees at the Medford store.

Pier 1, the No. 1 retailer of imported furniture, employs some 16,000 people and operates 1,108 stores in the United States and Canada. The retailer said it may execute early termination agreements for its underperforming stores if rental-reduction negotiations on those locations are unsuccessful. The negotiations with landlords is expected to be completed by the end of May.

In June of 2007, Pier 1 announced it was closing 100 stores, including all its clearance and Pier 1 Kids operations.

Pier 1 opened its Rogue Valley store in June of 1997. When the 6,664-square-foot store opened in Crater Lake Plaza, it was the chain's 710th store.