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FORT WORTH, TX-Marvin Girouard plans to retire from his positions of chairman and CEO of Pier I in February, after 32 years with the company. Girouard was COO for 10 years, CEO for more than eight and chairman for seven years.

“I feel that it is time for me to leave in the course of a normal retirement,” Girouard said. Pier I says its independent directors have hired a New York-based retail executive search firm, Herbert Mines Associates, to assist it in selecting a new CEO.

During the years that Girouard has been with Pier I, the retailer has grown to almost $2 billion in revenues, with more than 1,200 stores and 17,000 employees. It lays claim to being North America’s largest specialty retailer of imported decorative home furnishings and gifts.

Pier I two weeks ago reported a net loss of $73 million for the second quarter ended Aug. 26, or 84 cents per share, as total sales declined 12.5% for the second quarter to approximately $371 million. Comparable store sales dropped 14.8% in the quarter.

Girouard said at the time that Pier I was “well under way” with a turnaround despite the loss, explaining that a number of one-time items worsened the financial picture during the quarter. Although sales improved slightly in August after being soft in June and July, “our fixed costs were too much to overcome,” the Pier I chief executive said at the time.

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