Multichannel retailer iFloor, which filed for bankruptcy in December, has returned as a pure-play ecommerce site. The new entity, simply called iFloor.com, is being operated by a Chinese firm that bought iFloor's assets. The new owner is planning on being exclusively online for the time being, as iFloor's stores all closed before the takeover. Before bankruptcy iFloor had at least 35 brick-and-mortar stores along with its web presence.
updates: April 2009 Archives
Struggling discount retailer Filene's Basement has been sold to a liquidation and turnaround specialist. Officials noted "uncertainty" for its 25 doors but no announcement of store closings or liquidation has been made.
Filene's Basement has had difficulty all year; in January it closed 11 stores in a restructuring move.
For what it's worth, Timely Demise is a fan of Filene's Basement (so say many of the clothes in the TD closet) and is rooting for a turnaround and not a liquidation.
Timely Demise read two interesting articles in yesterday's New York Times. First, the news: retail sales fell in March, as did producer prices, as a temporary bump in spending pulled back. While a few chains posted sales gains, the overall retail industry fell 1.1%, suggesting continued weakness but not market contraction.
More curious was the Times' coverage of bankrupt stores resuscitated as brands. Several companies are being leveraged for their well-known identities despite the failure of their store-level businesses. Among them: Sharper Image, which sold its name for a hefty sum to use on a new line of gadgets; as well as Linens 'n Things and Bombay.
Several stores formerly profiled on Timely Demise are in the news today.
And in New Jersey, the recently bankrupt Marty's Shoes chain has been brought back to life. Its former CEO and original owner have purchased the Marty's brand out of bankruptcy and opened stores in four locations. An ecommerce site is operational, and plans are to open nearly 20 stores.
Updated April 10.
After a long bidding battle, the Gottschalk's department store chain will be liquidated and all 58 stores will close. Gottschalk's filed for bankruptcy in January and explored a sale and other options before resorting to the liquidation. The action ends a 105-year-old California-based business; the stores will be closed by July.