Pier 1 Imports, which is holding going-out-of-business sales at its 900 stores and online as its bankruptcy winds down, appears to have a future as e-commerce business.
A company that also purchased the intellectual property of Dress Barn has entered into an agreement to buy Pier 1’s name. Dress Barn closed its 544 stores and went out of business last year.
Retail Ecommerce Ventures, a firm co-owned by influencer Tai Lopez and the co-founder of online dating site Zoosk, Alex Mehr, has agreed to pay just over $20 million for the intellectual property of Pier 1 and its e-commerce business.
Bids for Pier 1 Imports brand are due in bankruptcy court by Wednesday.
Pier 1 said in a filing Monday that it received offers from other parties, but if no “higher or better offers” are presented, Retail Ecommerce Ventures’ bid will be approved at hearing scheduled for July 30.
Lopez and Mehr haven’t been reached for comment. They are operating Dress Barn as an online business. Their company purchased Dress Barn’s intellectual property from Ascena Retail Group, which also owns Ann Taylor, Justice and Lane Bryant, last year as it shut down Dress Barn, saying it wanted to focus on other more profitable brands.
So who are these bidders for Pier 1?
On the Retail Commerce Ventures website, Lopez says he shares advice about health, wealth, love and happiness and has 2.9 million followers on Instagram, 6.2 million fans on Facebook, 1 million subscribers on YouTube and 1.2 million followers on Twitter.
Mehr says on the website that he’s a former NASA scientist who has launched more than 30 products. He co-founded online dating site Zoosk in 2007 and said he recently sold for $300 million.
Retail brands that have shut down their operations, usually as part of a bankruptcy filing, have lived on for years with new owners selling merchandise under the brands that still have a consumer following.