August 2008 Archives


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McMahan's, a longtime west coast furniture retailer, is closing all its stores. The retailer, which operates 17 La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery and McMahan's stores in California and Oregon, cited the "current business environment" as a factor but did not elaborate in its press release.

McMahan's, which had been family-run since 1919, was one of the nation's oldest furniture retailers. It had $45 million in 2007 sales, according to Furniture Today.

McMahan's follows by nine months Levitz Furniture, which went bankrupt in 2007 after 97 years in business.

The slow arm of the law

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The Bombay Company, which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last September, had its reorganization plans approved by a judge Thursday.

Bombay began liquidating shortly after the initial filing; only now, a year later, will the final assets be distributed and the company's stock delisted. Creditors will receive between 16 and 28 percent of their claims, meaning Bombay is shorting its debts by as much as 84 cents on the dollar.

Alongside bombay is Domain Home, which also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in January, and liquidated its stores in the spring.

In Manhattan Domain and Bombay occupied parallel corner storefronts on Broadway one block apart. Both stores now stand empty, their For Rent signs a stark testimony to the retail and real estate landscapes in New York.


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When Bennigan's announced its bankruptcy filing last month, it went straight to Chapter 7 and immediately closed its company-owned doors. Interestingly, franchisees can continue to operate, although sourcing food and maintaining promotions must be nearly impossible with no parent company guiding the operations.

Ascendia Brands

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The parent company of Calgon and Mr. Bubble, Ascendia Brands, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early August. The company hopes to sell itself by the end of September.

Mrs. Fields Cookies

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Mrs. Fields Famous Brands LLC is planning a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and is asking creditors for input

The company, which dates to 1977, is having difficulty managing fuel and ingredient costs. Any restructuring plans will affect both Mrs. Fields Cookies and TCBY outlets.


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Regional department store chain Boscov's filed for bankruptcy protectionAugust 4. The chain was a victim of boom-time financing mistakes, leveraging itself in too many directions without a fallback plan for an economic downturn.

The 89-year-old retailer plans to liquidate 10 stores as part of its restructuring. Affiliate companies like Boscov's Business Travel are being consolidated.


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I'm fascinated by the bankruptcy and reorganization trend that is whipping through the consumer industry as the economy shifts. The credit crunch is leading to a changed retail landscape.

This blog is designed to follow those trends and keep a running tally of the recessionary impact on stores. It will be neither gleeful nor alarmist; it's my moderately objective look at what's happening, and why.

The first few posts will bring the blog up to date with filings from earlier in 2008, and before long we'll try and track announcements as they happen.

Disclaimer: I work at an interactive agency that includes as clients numerous retail product firms. This blog is not meant to endorse or otherwise monitor any of them or their competitors. It is simply a side project formed out of my own curiosity.

Timely Demise tracks the retail industry as it changes with our unprecedented economic environment. By David Wertheimer. Did I miss something? Drop me a line.

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