Linder's Furniture hires liquidators for sales
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, November 16, 2011
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. - Industry sources say Gordon Bros. Group and APJL Consulting will liquidate Linder's Furniture following the Top 100 company's move into an arrangement that's an alternative to filing for bankruptcy protection.
Sources, who asked not to be identified, said the sales probably will begin later this month and run into early next year before the chain, with nine Southern California locations, shuts down.
Linder's released a brief statement Nov. 5, announcing it has entered into "an assignment for the benefit of creditors, an alternative to bankruptcy." That's a voluntary transfer of all or most of a debtor's assets to a trustee, who then works to collect money owed creditors, typically by liquidating the assets.
"We will make a formal statement within the next two weeks regarding the company's future plans," Linder's President Eric Foucrier said in the release. He declined further comment Tuesday when asked about a liquidation deal.
Representative with Gordon Bros. and APJL did not return telephone calls.
Linder's was No. 81 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 with estimated 2010 furniture, bedding and accessories sales of $60.1 million. Among its key vendors were Legacy Classic, Fine Furniture Design, Sealy, Universal and Wynwood.
The company's website lists nine current store locations, including one combination store and clearance center in Torrance, Calif.
Just last year, the retailer was in expansion mode, having opened two new superstore format showrooms in Rancho Cucamonga and Cathedral City, Calif., each with about 50,000 square feet of selling space, or about double the typical Linder's store size.
Kevin O'Connor, president and CEO of Samson Holdings, believed to be one of Linder's largest creditors through its Universal and Legacy Classic companies, said the retailer tried to make things work but was stymied by an economy that didn't recover as expected.
"I think the real problem here is that an independent businessman like (founder Phil Linder) working in this environment is working with banks that are clearly not as willing to take as many risks as they used to," he said. "It's tough for an independent businessman to weather the storm in an atmosphere where banks are so risk-averse."