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Robb & Stucky files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

14 furniture vendors owed about $8 million

TAMPA, Fla. — High-end retailer Robb & Stucky filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection here today after years of struggling in some of the hardest hit housing markets in the country.

The Top 100 company, which operates large full-line stores and smaller Robb & Stucky Patio units in Florida, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Ariz., Plano, Texas and Costa Rica, listed both assets and debts in the range of $50 million to $100 million. In a release, it said it is pursuing a sale but would also entertain liquidation bids.

Fourteen of the retailer's 20 largest unsecured creditors are home furnishings companies and are owed about $8 million. The largest is Woodard, a casual and outdoor furniture vendor that is owed $1.13 million. High-end casegoods and upholstery resource Marge Carson is owed $1.05 million.

Other industry suppliers listed among the largest unsecured creditors and their claims are E.J. Victor, $719, 391; Lexington Home Brands, $656,667; Schnadig; $590,367; Hancock & Moore, $548,388; John Richard Collection, $538,013; Stanley, $477,401; Henredon, $426,994; ES Kluft, $407,229; Brown Jordan, $383,890 Leather Trend, $350,713; Vanguard Furniture, $350,028; and Century, $330,719.

In a press release, the company said the move was "to stabilize its operations and to facilitate a sale of its assets in Chapter 11."

"At this time, we are focused on charting a path that will lead us into the future," Dan Lubner, president of Robb & Stucky's Hospitality Design Division, said in the release.

"We are endeavoring to locate a buyer that will maintain the company's brand standards, associates team and strong focus on customer needs and service, with minimal impact on operations and stakeholders."

As part of the court process, the retailer said it is required to entertain all potential offers to maximize value, including liquidation bids.

The company, which said its troubles stem from the weak real estate market and the decrease in consumer spending, said its stores remain open as it navigates the sale process and that it has secured debtor-in-possession financing.

Robb & Stucky CEO Clive Lubner and President Fred Berk could not be reached immediately for comment.

Robb & Stucky is No. 33 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 with 2009 estimated sales of $201 million at then 20 stores .That was down nearly 21% from the year before with 26 stores at the end of the year. According to a court document, revenue for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2010 was $139.7 million, down nearly 50% from the peak revenues of $273.7 million for the fiscal year ended in June 2006.

Last year the company closed the last of its small format stores, a 35,000-square-foot showroom in Southlake, Texas. And earlier this month, its landlord in Scottsdale, Ariz., DMB Circle Road Partners, sued the retailer for allegedly failing to pay nearly $592,000 in rent.

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