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Posted on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Pier 1 Imports signs deal to open store off Ann Arbor-Saline Road

By Lizzy Alfs


Pier 1 Imports, pictured in Pittsfield Township, plans to open a store in Ann Arbor's Cranbrook Village Shopping Center.

Photo by Dwight Burdette

Five years after Pier 1 Imports closed its Ann Arbor store, the home decor retailer is planning its return.

The Texas-based retailer finalized a deal last week to open in the 9,000-square-foot former Old Country Buffet space in Cranbrook Village — the same shopping center where Pier 1 operated a store for years.

“When the economy started to tank in 2008 and (Pier 1 Imports’) lease had expired, they had to make a decision whether they were going to renew or not…they did not renew, and now they’re back to the same center,” said Tom Goldberg, one of the owners of Cranbrook Village.


The Cranbrook Village Shopping Center is at Ann Arbor-Saline Road and Eisenhower.

Photo from Uniland Corporation

Whole Foods and REI anchor Cranbrook Village, at the intersection of Ann Arbor-Saline Road and Eisenhower Parkway. Pier 1 formerly operated a store in the outlot building, which is now occupied by a Potbelly Sandwich Shop and the under construction Tony Sacco’s pizza restaurant.

When Old Country Buffet closed in the center earlier this year as part of its parent company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Goldberg said it created opportunity for a new — and better performing — tenant to move in.

“Old Country was good for what it was, but that concept got tired,” Goldberg said. “It was time for a change, and we were very careful about who we were going to put in.”

He added: “I think there’s a recovery in the housing market, and if there is, tenants like Pier 1 that cater to design and home products are clearly going to be well received in the marketplace.”

Founded in 1970, Pier 1 operated 971 stores in the U.S. and 81 stores in Canada as of Feb. 25. The company, which employs 3,500 workers, posted a second quarter net income of $26.2 million, up 58 percent over the same quarter last year.

The company also operates a store on Carpenter Road in Pittsfield Township.

Goldberg said the Cranbrook Village space is currently under construction and the company is aiming for a spring 2013 opening.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

left and returning for how long this time


Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

welcome back Pier one! look forward to shopping there when my own" personal recession" is over....


Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

If I'm not mistaken, about 10 years ago, Pier 1 took a nose-dive and their inventory and style changed considerably. They used to carry some quality, difficult to find wicker and rattan furniture, and rugs. Not any more - everything I see in their stores now is one small step above junk.

say it plain

Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 1:36 a.m.

Blech, like we need another store with cheap baskets and throw pillows. Even if you believe "the housing market's recovered" and people need to stage their homes-for-sale with wicker...isn't there already Cost Plus Market down the road? Just, blech. Better than big lots, but only because it smells better. A little.


Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

"It was time for a change, and we were very careful about who we were going to put in." - glad to hear this in contrast to the decision other center that leased to Big Lots in place of Borders.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

Yeah, Welcome back, can't wait.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.

I live near the one on Carpenter and most times when you drive by you can't tell if it's open or not because there's hardly any cars in the lot, even at what might be considered peak shopping times. But I do wish them success as it adds jobs locally.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 8:54 p.m.

Oh boy! More imported cheap stuff! Glad for th couple of retail jobs it may create, but locally made or US made goods when possible!!


Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

Given a choice between an imported item and a USA made item I choose the indigenous product. Given a choice between a local owned shop and a national chain I choose the locally owned shop. Stadium Hardware beats Lowes. Izzys beats Subway.

Center of Left and Right

Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

Personally I voted 'down' because your comment "More imported cheap stuff!" was so sanctimonious. I'm pretty sure you don't eat or buy 100% local. I hope you do support local (as I do) but not EVERYTHING we need or want is locally produced. So, the vote down wasn't against locally made goods - it was against your comment.


Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

For those that voted "down". Could you explain why you think it is better for America when you buy imported, low quality goods over locally made goods?


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

Pier one isn't really a place I'd shop at, but it is so good to have empty store fronts vanish. I'll take it as a good sign.

music to my ear

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

welcome back pier one, I loved shopping at your store and was sorry to see you go. cant wait till we are reunited I hope it will feel so good. (joke)you know the song , no you all have really unique stuff.