Finger Furniture closing its remaining two Houston stores
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, February 13, 2014
HOUSTON — Finger Furniture is liquidating its remaining two stores here after trying to make a second run at operating but ultimately filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January.
The retailer, led by Rodney Finger, filed for protection Jan 16, listing assets in the $501,000 to $1 million range and debts of more than $1 million. Seven industry companies, owed about $149,000, are listed among its top 20 largest unsecured creditors, according to a bankruptcy court document.
In another document asking the court to approve the going-out-of business sales, Finger noted that it had "initiated several cost-cutting measures in an attempt to improve its financial condition," including the closing of its "large, obsolete" store at 4001 Gulf Freeway.
That left the retailer with a South Houston store - a former Lack's showroom in Clute, Texas - and a 93,000-square-foot North Houston store near Willowbrook Mall, where Finger moved its offices and warehouse after closing the Gulf Freeway location.
According to the document, Finger agreed to a request by a new Willowbrook Mall property manager to move from that store to a smaller space in the same center. It was running a successful store closing sale until the property manager requested Finger move out earlier than anticipated, the retailer said in the court filing.
Finger said it wasn't adequately capitalized to withstand the relocation and lost money, which led to its decision to close its new Willowbrook location and run a GOB there.
That store closing began late last year, but "failed negotiations with the Willowbrook landlord and Texas comptroller over unpaid obligations" resulted in Finger being locked out of the Willowbrook store Jan. 16 and ultimate filing for Chapter ll.
Finger then decided liquidating both stores would be in its long-term best interests, it said.
Rodney Finger could not be reached for comment.
Finger reopened the Gulf Freeway store in 2010 after debt problems, rapid expansion and the recession had forced Finger out of business the first time. It later followed with expansion back into North and South Houston.
APJL Consulting and High Impact Furniture Promotions, which were brought in for the first Willowbrook closing sale, are handling the new GOBs. Allen Parvizian, president of APJL, said the sales at both locations are starting today, Feb. 13, and will be completed by July 13.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge for the Southern District of Texas has approved the liquidation plan. The sale at the Willowbrook location must end by July 13, the court said.
Industry companies and their owed claims listed among the unsecured creditors are Dickson Furniture, $39,844; Largo International, $32,000; Noah Mfg., $28,803; High Impact Furniture, $23,123; Sofa Design, $10,000; Sealy, $7,794; and Crown Mark, $7,754.
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