Ann Arbor named among top charming small US cities by TravelMag
ANN ARBOR – Here’s a ranking that doesn’t surprise us. TravelMag recently released its 30 Most Charming Small Cities in the USA list and Ann Arbor appears along other famed small cities -- and college towns -- like Annapolis, Maryland, Charleston, South Carolina and Bloomington, Indiana. “Home to the University of Michigan, it has long been a seat of higher education, forward-thinking, technology and progressive ideas,” wrote TravelMag. “You can see echoes of these elements everywhere, including at the numerous annual events held in the city, including expos, airshows, and the annual film festival that has been running for decades. “In the city’s lively dining scene, this same balance of tradition and modernity is reflected by Ann Arbor mainstays such as Zingerman’s Deli, right through to the trendy international cuisine from across five continents.”AdWith the award-winning Ann Arbor District Library, 161 beautiful public parks and educational and cultural events abound, it certainly is a wonderful place to live.
Downtown Ann Arbor streets closing Thursday to make more space for businesses, pedestrians
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Starting Thursday, several streets in downtown Ann Arbor will close to cars allowing for more outdoor dining and shopping during the spring and summer. The Downtown Ann Arbor Pedestrian Mall will provide additional space facilitating safer physical distancing practices as community members visit businesses and restaurants. The closures will run from Thursday, April 1 to August 30. This year, some streets will be closed every day of the week while other closures will only take place from 4 p.m. on Thursdays to 6 a.m. on Mondays. Here’s which streets will close:Week-long closures:Washington Street from Ashley Street to Main StreetMaynard Street on the east side or northbound portion between Liberty to William streetsThursdays at 4 p.m. to Mondays at 6 a.m.:Main Street between William to Washington streetsEast Liberty Street from Ashley Street to Fourth AvenueLiberty Street between Maynard to State streetsState Street from Washington Street to William StreetDue to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, similar street closures first took place in the summer of 2020.
Sustainable shop BYOC Co. to open soon in downtown Ann Arbor
ANN ARBOR – BYOC Co. will be opening its doors soon at Liberty Square at 255 E. Liberty Street downtown. Hess offers a variety of personal care and household cleaning products that she will fill customers’ containers with. “I want people to feel confident in the things they’re buying.”Emma Hess sells her all-natural products at one of her pop-ups. All of her sustainable products are natural and are hand-selected based on the needs and preferences of her customers. BYOC Co. is here to help with whatever small steps that people can take to make their lifestyles more sustainable.
One year on, Real Irish in Ann Arbor stands its ground despite pandemic
ANN ARBOR – For many small businesses, the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic was a recipe for disaster. After three months, Real Irish opened its doors again in June to customers. Woolen sweaters, caps and jackets are just some of the specialty items sold at Real Irish. (Meredith Bruckner)“Because of everything that happened, we were able to really grow our online business,” said Marley. The last two months of the year were a major success for Real Irish, with customers seeking out authentic Irish gifts for family members and friends for the holidays.
Lauren Kosowski honored with Main Street Ann Arbor’s Dennis Serras Award
ANN ARBOR – For the third year running, the Main Street Area Association is honoring an individual who is central to its mission and the vitality of the downtown area. This year’s recipient of the organization’s Dennis Serras Award is Lauren Kosowski, an IT professional who has become a passionate advocate for and supporter of the Main Street area. “This year we nominated Lauren Kosowski for the award, someone whose job has nothing to do with downtown,” MSAA executive director Sandra Andrade said in a statement. AdLauren Kosowski is the recipient of the 2020 Dennis Serras Award. It’s people like you, with that love, that will help our businesses survive.”MSAA’s first two awardees were Lucy Ann Lance and A4′s Meredith Bruckner.
Longtime owners of Four Directions on Ann Arbor’s Main Street to retire
Alan and Karen Freedman in their shop Four Directions at 211 S. Main St. on Jan. 20, 2021. A giant amethyst at Four Directions on 211 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor. Colorful stone necklaces hang from a rack at Four Directions on 211 S. Main Street. Splashed copper pieces from Northern Michigan on display at Four Directions on 211 S. Main Street. Therapy stones at Four Directions on 211 S. Main Street.
‘We need help.’ Ann Arbor business owners sound alarm as winter approaches
ANN ARBOR – With no sign of the coronavirus pandemic slowing down in Michigan, business owners across the state are staring down a long and uncertain winter. According to Destination Ann Arbor, football weekends back in 2013 brought in more than $80 million from visitors alone for local hotels, restaurants and retail. A report in May by EntryPoint found that 97% of Ann Arbor businesses were impacted by the pandemic with 48% of those located in the downtown area. The downtown Ann Arbor store has taken numerous precautions to keep employees and customers safe. “If you pull Zingerman’s out of Ann Arbor, I’m not saying the town will fold up, but it will be a pretty impactful move.
Downtown Ann Arbor area associations launch ‘Show Your Love A2’ campaign to support businesses
In order to bolster support for local eateries and merchants, the Kerrytown District, Main Street Ann Arbor, the State Street District, and the South University Area Association launched on Wednesday the “Show Your Love A2” campaign. “We want to keep the nostalgic charm of Ann Arbor thriving. Help us preserve the personality and spirit of Ann Arbor by showing your love to the community. Please shop, eat, and drink (in) downtown Ann Arbor.”ShowYourLoveA2 is also holding a photo contest. To enter, follow the campaign on Instagram at @ShowYourLoveA2 and share a photo of what you love downtown with the hashtag #ShowYourLoveA2.
Paul Gross has one suggestion before you start holiday shopping
And now, I’m already seeing holiday shopping ads and stories in our newscasts. If you’re not comfortable going to the store, check and see if you can buy direct from them through their website…including gift cards. Those gift cards will be celebrated! Those restaurant gift cards we buy just may keep our favorite eateries in business. So, before you plan your holiday shopping, make shopping local part of your plan.
Ann Arbor City Council extends downtown street closures through November
ANN ARBOR – City Council unanimously approved on Monday night the extension of downtown street closures for businesses to continue operating outdoors through Nov. 30. The closures were originally set to end on Nov. 1. The closures include:Main Street from William Street to Liberty StreetMain Street from Liberty Street to Washington StreetWashington Street from South Ashley to Main StreetMaynard Street from East Liberty Street to East William Street (seven days a week)East Liberty Street from Thompson Street to South State StreetSouth State Street from East Washington Street to East William StreetClosures will continue to be in effect from 2 p.m. on Fridays through 8 p.m. on Sundays. The Maynard Street closure will move to a weekend-only closure on Nov. 2. Ramlawi said city administrator Tom Crawford can end the closures at any time if they are deemed unsafe due to weather events.
‘Glass Mural’ office, retail building planned for Detroit’s Eastern Market
DETROIT – A unique retail and office development is planned for Detroit’s Eastern Market. A four-story building dubbed the “Glass Mural,” and inspired by the artistic expression of Eastern Market, is planned to be built directly across Eastern Market’s Shed 3, at the intersection of Russell and Division Street. Currently, the site is home to a two-story brick building that features a mural by local artist DENIAL. (MVRDV)Operationally, Glass Mural will have a ground-level retail storefront, with three floors of offices dispersed throughout the two primary glass blocks with permanent artworks. Glass Mural rendering.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer proclaims Saturday ‘Downtown Day’
ANN ARBOR – With the COVID-19 pandemic putting unprecedented strain on businesses in the retail and service industries, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed Saturday “Downtown Day.”The proclamation was a request by the Michigan Downtown Association to help support struggling downtowns across the state. Community members are encouraged to head to their respective downtowns on Saturday to shop, dine, participate in activities or volunteer. “Main Street Ann Arbor (MSAA) is very excited about the Governor declaring Sept. 26 as Downtown Day,” Sandra Andrade, executive director of Ann Arbor’s Main Street Area Association told A4 via email. We all love Ann Arbor and we need to work together to keep downtown thriving by shopping, dining, and ordering carry-out from it’s businesses.
Lord & Taylor, Mens Wearhouse owner file for bankruptcy
NEW YORK Lord & Taylor, America's oldest retailer, is seeking bankruptcy protection, as is the owner of Mens Wearhouse and Jos. Both filed for bankruptcy protection, separately, in the Eastern Court of Virginia on Sunday. Bank stores, was struggling even before shelter-in-place orders smothered any demand for suits or ties. Bank stores, along with K&G Fashion Superstore and Moores Clothing for Men, all owned by Tailored, with continue to operate during restructuring. About two dozen stores have sought bankruptcy protection since the pandemic started.
Kroger stores to host hiring events across Michigan
The Kroger Co. of Michigan is looking to hire 1,000 people across the state. An in-person hiring event will take place between noon and 5 p.m. on August 4 at all Kroger stores. Candidates are asked to visit the service desk to leave their name and phone number, and then remain in their car until they are contacted by a hiring manager. The company is also planning a two-day virtual hiring event amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. MORE: Michigan News
Small Biz Saturday: Ann Arbors Bivouac works with vendors to handle changes in shopping
ANN ARBOR, Mich. Its been drastic. Sales are way down, said Ed Davidson, owner of Bivouac said regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted his retail business in downtown Ann Arbor. (Bivouac)Unlike many other businesses in Ann Arbor, Bivouac, which sells backpacking gear as well as clothing and accessories, hasnt experienced problems with distributors or suppliers. So, the issue now is just planning, planning, planning, said Davidson. The downtown Ann Arbor store has taken numerous precautions to keep employees and customers safe.
Meijer will require masks to enter any store in Midwest
DETROIT Meijer will begin requiring customers to wear a mask at all stores to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This new requirement is in addition to the retailers locations where executive orders are already in place requiring people to wear face coverings at retail locations. Customers who have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing face coverings are exempt, Meijer said. Meijer currently operates 253 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. Meijer joins Walmart, Target and CVS, among other companies, who are requiring masks in stores.
First recreational marijuana dispensary opens in Ypsilanti
YPSILANTI, Mich. The first recreational marijuana dispensary has opened in Ypsilanti. Oz Cannabis, just outside of Depot Town in downtown Ypsilanti, is the first to receive both city and state approval as a marijuana retailer selling medical and adult-use (recreational) cannabis. Oz Cannabis founder, Nemer Haddad, a lifelong Detroit-area entrepreneur, says hes proud of the companys Ypsilanti location. In 2018, Michigan voted to legalize recreational marijuana by an 11-point margin. Related: Michigan voted to legalize marijuana in 2018, but many communities have opted out of salesMichigan regulators starting accepting license applications in late 2019 and are slowly working to activate them, in accordance with marijuana laws in the state.
Michigan man wins $2M lottery after clerk gives him wrong ticket
EASTPOINTE, Mich. – A man in suburban Detroit was given the wrong lottery ticket. The Michigan Lottery said the man stopped at a gas station in Eastpointe, Michigan, to put air in a tire. "The clerk handed me the $20 ticket by mistake. I am sure glad I did!” the man said in a statement released Tuesday by the Lottery. He decided to take a lump sum of about $1.3 million instead of $2 million spread over many years, the Lottery said.
Michigan Retailers Association: Wear mask to shop, dont blame employees
The Michigan Retailers Association is telling shoppers to mask up while shopping to abide by Gov. While retailers and retail employees appreciate Gov. This puts retail employees in potentially dangerous situations when theyre forced to confront unmasked customers. We worry for retail employees safety and disagree with the overly aggressive penalties for retailers. When shopping, please wear a mask and understand that retailers are not to blame for the states mask requirement.
Brooks Brothers, worn by Lincoln and Kennedy, goes bankrupt
Brooks Brothers will permanently close more than a quarter of its 200 stores. Brooks Brothers said Wednesday that it will continue operations as it restructures and is looking to reopen shops that are not being closed permanently. “The good thing about Brooks Brothers: It’s a very strong brand," he said. Brooks Brothers' two-button suits were a favorite of President John F. Kennedy. Clark Gable wore Brooks Brothers and Jennifer Aniston appeared on the cover of GQ magazine wearing nothing but a red, white and blue Brooks Brothers tie.
Industry Club to offer paid retail, fashion experience to Detroit youth
DETROIT The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) announced a new initiative that will offer hands-on experience for young people interested in careers in retail or fashion merchandising. True equality can only be achieved through economic and social mobility and the Industry Club is designed to do just that, said BGCSM President & CEO, Shawn H. Wilson. The Industry Club is meant to provide young people with access to the industry, mentorship and potential job placement while earning a wage, officials said. Detroits Bedrock is providing the 2,400 square-foot retail space to the Industry Club for free in addition to a $25,000 grant, officials said. That accelerator concept will continue through the Industry Club project, with Ponyride offering both brick-and-mortar, and e-commerce support to local women and entrepreneurs of color.
Detroit police seeking suspect who fled scene of retail fraud incident on city’s east side
DETROIT – Police are asking for the public’s assistance to identify and locate a suspect wanted in connection with an incident of retail fraud that occurred in Detroit on June 10. She fled the scene in a tan 2010-2015 Chevrolet Malibu (pictured below), officials said. Detroit police are seeking help to identify and locate a woman (pictured) who fled the scene of a retail fraud incident on June 10, 2020 in a tan 2010-2015 Chevrolet Malibu (pictured) on the city's east side. (Detroit Police Department)Police describe the woman as standing about 5 feet, 7-9 inches tall with a medium build and dark complexion. Anyone with information is asked to call Detroit Police Department’s Seventh Precinct at 313-596-5740 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak Up.
Detroit industry spotlight: Health care hiring going strong
Detroit's health care industry is experiencing strong job growth. The health care sector came in second in terms of local employers adding new jobs. Top companies hiring locally in health care include 24-Hour Medical Staffing Services, LLC, Team Wellness Center and GHR Travel Nursing. According to a recent job opening posted by Team Wellness Center, "Team Wellness Center is the premiere provider of community health services in Southeast Michigan." This story was created automatically using local jobs data, then reviewed by an editor.
The 3 best spots to score accessories in Detroit
Looking to score accessories? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top accessory hot spots in Detroit, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best spots to venture next time you're in the market for accessories. Well Done GoodsPHOTO: BETHANY S./YELPFirst on the list is Lafayette Park's Well Done Goods, situated at 1440 Gratiot Ave., Suite 1D. With five stars out of 36 reviews on Yelp, the baby gear and furniture and customized merchandise spot, offering accessories and more, has proved to be a local favorite. This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor.
Sales representatives see increasing job openings in Detroit
Local sales representative came in third in terms of local employers adding new jobs by occupation. One of the top employers seeking local sales representatives is National General Insurance. "About National General Holdings: National General Holdings Corp. is headquartered in New York City," according to one of the company's recently posted job openings. Other top companies seeking local hires in the same category include Clearent and Transform SR Home Improvement. Jobs posted by National General Insurance in the past month in the area also included managers.
Downtown Ann Arbor street closures to begin Friday
ANN ARBOR Starting at 2 p.m. on Friday, several streets in the downtown area will be closing to cars to allow for expanded shopping and patio services for bars, restaurants and retail businesses. Ann Arbor City Council recently approved the closures to help businesses facilitate safer physical distancing practices during the health crisis. The street closures will last until 8 p.m. on Sunday and will be put into place every weekend until Aug. 23. The closures include:Main Street from William Street to Liberty StreetMain Street from Liberty Street to Washington StreetWashington Street from South Ashley to Main StreetMaynard Street from East Liberty Street to East William Street (closure is seven days a week)East Liberty Street from Thompson Street to South State StreetSouth State Street from East Washington Street to East William StreetClosures to begin on Friday, June 19 include:Church Street from South University to Willard StreetDetroit Street from East Kingsley Avenue to North Fifth AvenueForest Street alley Like what youre reading? Sign up for our email newsletter here!
Macys stores in Metro Detroit open for in-store shopping, curbside delivery and pick-up
Following the Centers for Disease Control, state and local guidance, select Macys stores will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., offering contact-free curbside pick-up. We are ready to welcome our customers back to Macys stores in the metro Detroit area, said Marc Mastronardi, chief stores officer at Macys. Contact-Free Curbside Pick-upCustomers who prefer the ease of pick-up can now utilize contact-free curbside service at select Macys locations. Items bought for Store Pick-Up on macys.com or the Macys mobile app will be eligible for free curbside pick-up Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Open Macys Locations in the area:Available In-Store Shopping, Curbside Delivery and Pick-Up:
Detroit industry spotlight: Transportation hiring going strong
In the past month, 103 companies listed open jobs for Detroit-based workers in that area. Top companies hiring locally in transportation include Reid Transportation, DriverSource and SMS Group of Companies. According to a recent job opening posted by DriverSource, "DriverSource is an industry leading staffing solutions firm specializing in CDL Drivers." Jobs posted by Reid Transportation in the past month in Detroit included truck drivers, while DriverSource was hiring truck drivers and warehouse workers and SMS Group of Companies sought forklift operators and material handlers. This story was created automatically using local jobs data, then reviewed by an editor.
Ann Arbor City Council gives go-ahead for restaurants to extend patios into closed streets
ANN ARBOR, Mich. On Tuesday, the Ann Arbor City Council approved a resolution that would allow Ann Arbor restaurants and bars in the downtown area to extend their outdoor patios into closed streets. Andrade said the association gathered input from business owners and residents block-by-block when working with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority on the resolution. Four blocks in the Main Street area will be closed: Main Street between Williams Street and Liberty Street; Main Street from Liberty to Washington Street; Washington Street from Ashley Street to Main Street; and Washington Street from 4th Avenue to 5th Avenue. The resolution was worked on by all four Ann Arbor downtown associations and the DDA. According to Andrade, some streets have been intentionally left open in the downtown area so that restaurants can continue to offer curbside services, which have been vital to many of the downtown restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Detroit industry spotlight: Tech hiring going strong
Detroit's tech industry is experiencing strong job growth. The tech sector also came in third in terms of local employers adding new jobs. In the past month, 77 companies listed open jobs for Detroit-based workers in that area. Top companies hiring locally in information technology include Staffigo Technical Services, LLC, OtterBase - dt and blueStone Staffing Solutions. This story was created automatically using local jobs data, then reviewed by an editor.
Malls reopen in Metro Detroit: Can you touch surfaces? Is it safe to try on clothes?
DETROIT Malls and other retail shops around Metro Detroit are starting to reopen as the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) slows, and some of the concerns involve touching surfaces, trying on clothes and people who insist its their right not to wear a mask. Touching surfacesReopening the economy is critical, but doing so in a way that minimizes the risk of spreading the coronavirus (COVID-19) is just as important. Shopping naturally involves touching, but when youre in malls or stores, trying not to touch anything unless its necessaryHave hand sanitizer available, use it often and remember not to touch your face. Trying on clothesPeople have specifically asked about trying on clothes, and there are two separate issues at play. Wearing a mask is about the simple courtesy of keeping your germs to yourself.
Retail reopens in Metro Detroit with uncertainty of coronavirus (COVID-19) changes
WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. Retail businesses and auto showrooms are reopening Tuesday in Metro Detroit with the uncertainty of changes designed to protect workers and customers from the coronavirus (COVID-19). READ: Heres everything thats reopening this week across entire state of MichiganCompanies are starting to see business already, and the phones are ringing. Theres been a steady stream of traffic at automobile row at 12 Mile and Telegraph roads in Southfield. The stay-at-home order was in effect, and while we were open in service as an essential business, sales were limited to the remote sales. Glassman doesnt expect a major run due to pent up demand, but he thinks the company will stay busy.
Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, Twelve Oaks Mall reopening: New hours, COVID-19 safety rules
NOVI, Mich. Great Lakes Crossing Outlets and Twelve Oaks Mall are both set to reopen later this week, with new hours, specific coronavirus (COVID-19) rules and mandatory appointments. ScheduleBoth Great Lakes Crossing Outlets and Twelve Oaks Mall are scheduled to reopen at 11 a.m. Thursday. Using signage and decals to help customers with social distancing. Removing furniture and/or resetting seating areas in our common areas and food courts to allow for greater social distancing. Using signage and decals to help customers with social distancing.
Michigan retailers begin reopening slowly, cautiously amid COVID-19 pandemic
The Michigan economy is getting another boost on Tuesday amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic -- but the change is coming slowly and very cautiously. Gretchen Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order late last week until June 12. READ: Retail reopens in Metro Detroit with uncertainty of coronavirus (COVID-19) changesRetailers are getting back into business but they have strict limitations on how they operate. MORE: Heres everything thats reopening this week across entire state of MichiganMany people are being asked to do a balancing act. Do business, if you need to, or stay home through June 12 to better mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Independent businesses in Royal Oak ready to partially reopen
ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that she is partially reopening businesses and lifting medical restrictions across the entire state. Whitmer partially reopens businesses, lifts medical restrictions statewideWhitmer has allowed gatherings of 10 people or fewer. Independent small business in Royal Oak are willing to give it a try. “People do want to support you.”The city of Royal Oak is trying to help its retailers and restaurants navigate this change.
Independent businesses in Royal Oak ready to partially reopen
Independent businesses in Royal Oak ready to partially reopenPublished: May 21, 2020, 11:14 pmMichigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that she is partially reopening businesses and lifting medical restrictions across the entire state.
Its like being released from jail -- How first day of reopening has gone in Northern Michigan
Rod checked out the Frog Tiki Bar just a few minutes west of West Branch. Frog Tiki Bar also offered a glimpse at the challenges businesses will face when they reopen. As the signs went up and the doors started opening, Michiganders said theyre happy to see even a partial reopening. Weve been waiting for this for honestly two months, Frog Tiki Bar Owner Kathy Grover said. Its a big weekend.The bar is one of three tourist businesses Grover owns and runs.
Industry spotlight: Insurance companies hiring big in Detroit
The insurance sector also came in fourth in terms of local employers adding new jobs. Top companies hiring locally in insurance include Angela Hughes - State Farm Agent, Sanford Rose Associates - JFSPartners and John Cash - State Farm Agent. According to a recent job opening posted by Sanford Rose Associates - JFSPartners, "Sanford Rose Associates - JFSPartners is a leading multi-practice specialty search firm in the placement of professional, technical, and executive level talent." Jobs posted by Angela Hughes - State Farm Agent in the past month in Detroit included managers, insurance account representatives and account associates, while Sanford Rose Associates - JFSPartners was hiring financial analysts, and John Cash - State Farm Agent sought insurance account representatives, account associates and account representatives. This story was created automatically using local jobs data, then reviewed by an editor.
Pier 1 closing 6 Michigan stores
DETROIT – Pier 1 is planning to close nearly half of its stores -- including 6 in Michigan -- as the company struggles to draw consumers and compete online. The home decor company said earlier this month it is closing up to 450 stores and will also shutter distribution centers. It didn’t say where the store closures would occur, but it operates stores in the U.S. and Canada. Pier 1 also plans layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. The company — which was founded in California in 1962 — has been trying to revamp its cluttered stores and change its offerings to appeal more to younger customers.
Express is closing 31 stores this month, including 2 in Michigan
DETROIT – Clothing retailer Express is planning to close 31 stores by the end of this month -- including two stores in Michigan. In addition to the 31 stores that will close this month, Express plans to close 100 locations in malls around the United States by 2022. The stores closing this month are in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. In Michigan, the stores closing are:Midland: Midland Mall, 6800 Eastman Ave.Okemos: Meridian Mall, 1982 W Grand River Ave. Dozens of large retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection in the last three years, including Sears, Gymboree, Claire’s, Nine West and Payless Shoe Source.
Pier 1 Imports closing nearly half of stores as sales falter
FORT WORTH, TX (AP) – Pier 1 Imports is closing nearly half its 942 stores as it struggles to draw consumers and compete online. The home decor company said Monday it is closing up to 450 stores and will also shutter distribution centers. It didn't say where the store closures would occur, but it operates stores in the U.S. and Canada. Pier 1 also plans layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. Pier 1 said sales in its most recent quarter fell 13% to $358 million as store traffic fell.