Pier 1 Imports has added CEO and Director titles for Robert Riesbeck, in addition to his current role of CFO. The retailer also has appointed EVP and Chief Customer Officer Donna Colaco as President of Pier 1, where she will continue leading the company’s merchandising, planning and allocation, marketing, e-Commerce and promotion efforts.
Riesbeck joined Pier 1 in July as CFO, and was previously CFO at FULLBEAUTY Brands. He brings more than 25 years of experience in retail and consumer goods as well as experience from his time as an operating executive at private equity firm Sun Capital Partners.
“Bob has quickly established himself as the right leader to successfully take the Company forward,” said Interim CEO Cheryl Bachelder in a statement. “While we recognize there is still much work to do, Bob has been instrumental in helping the leadership team advance our plan to reset and reimagine the future of this iconic brand and he has put in place a highly capable finance team to steward the Company’s resources.”
Colaco will replace former President Douglas Diemoz, who joined Pier 1 in July 2019 and recently left the company. Prior to joining Pier 1 in November 2018, Colaco served as Brand President of White House Black Market, where she led a brand repositioning and business turnaround and was responsible for retail and e-Commerce operations.
Bachelder will step down from the Interim CEO role but continue serving as a member of Pier 1’s Board of Directors. The retailer also will dissolve the Office of the CEO, a team of executives including Riesbeck and Diemoz that advised Bachelder while the company sought a permanent CEO.
The newly promoted executives will have work to do to turn Pier 1’s fortunes around: the retailer reported a 12.6% decrease in comparable sales in Q2 2020, with net sales down 14.3% to $304.6 million. The retailer is planning to close 70 stores in this fiscal year, and may close another 70 as part of further cost-cutting efforts. The retailer also moved nearly 20% of its communications to messaging options, such as text messaging and online chat, as part of a customer contact center overhaul designed to lower costs.