Wickes Furniture

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Wickes Furniture
Former type Private company
Industry Furnishings
Fate Bankrupt
Founded 1971
Defunct 2008
Headquarters Wheeling, Illinois, U.S.
Products Home Furniture

Wickes Furniture was a privately held chain of furniture stores based in Wheeling, Illinois.[1] The company was founded in 1971 with a showroom in Fridley, Minnesota, and at its peak operated 43 stores in California, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, and Oregon.[2]

The company, despite its expansion into other markets, declared bankruptcy in 2008, and eventually went into liquidation for failure to find a buyer or an investor. At the time of its closing, it was owned by Sun Capital Partners.

History[edit]

Growth[edit]

After its founding in 1971, Wickes Furniture had grown to 43 showrooms and five distribution centers. The company had over 1,700 employees, making it one of the top 25 furniture retailers in the United States. By the early 1980s, it had grown into the United States' largest furniture retailer.,[3] but it closed nine of its then-24 stores in the wake of the 1982 bankruptcy of its parent company, Wickes Corp.[4] After Wickes was purchased by two investment firms in 1988, Wickes Furniture was sold to a management-led group in 1989.[5]

In 1998, Taiwan-based Master Home Furniture purchased Wickes Furniture; the company went into receivership in 2000 when Master Home Furniture defaulted on its bank debt.[6] In 2002, Sun Capital Partners teamed with an affiliate of the furniture chain Rooms To Go to purchase Wickes Furniture from Master Home.[7] In 2004, Sun Capital bought out Rooms To Go's interest in Wickes.[8]

In March 2004, John Disa was hired as president and CEO of Wickes Furniture by private investment firm Sun Capital Partners. Before he joined Wickes, he spent most of his career in athletic shoe businesses.[9]

Bankruptcy and liquidation[edit]

In May 2007, Wickes Furniture announced it would close five stores in Minnesota and a Brooklyn Center distribution center,[10] as part of its plan to focus its resources in expanding into markets in California, Chicago, Portland, and Las Vegas.

In mid-to-late 2007, however, the furniture industry was hit hard by the high cost of fuel prices and subprime lending markets. Wickes Furniture filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on February 3, 2008. At that time, Wickes operated 38 stores. The company listed debts of more than $50 million and assets of less than $50,000.

On February 14, 2008, it was announced by Richard Clausing, the company's chief financial officer,[11] that Wickes Furniture needed a buyer or an investor by February 25, 2008 to recapitalize the company and to keep from shutting its doors due to a deadline set by the court and creditors.[12] None of them came forward, so Wickes, with bankruptcy court approval, commenced its liquidation sales in March 2008, and closed all of its remaining stores.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lou Hirsh (February 29, 2008). "Wickes Furniture begins going-out-of-business sale". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Wickes Furniture Liquidation Sales Begin This Weekend at 38 Stores". Home Furnishings Business. February 2008. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  3. ^ Isadore Barmash (June 13, 1982). "BOLD PAGE IN BEST PRODUCTS' BOOK". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Wickes Closes 12 Stores". The New York Times. May 6, 1982. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Wickes Will Sell Furniture Chain, Sources Say". Los Angeles Times. April 4, 1989. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Bruckmann to buy Wickes Furniture". Daily Deal. February 21, 2002. 
  7. ^ "Sun Capital Partners and an Affiliate of Rooms To Go Acquires Wickes Furniture Company". PR Newswire. August 12, 2002. 
  8. ^ "Sun Capital Partners Affiliate Acquires the Interest in Wickes Furniture Company Held by an Affiliate of Rooms To Go". PR Newswire. March 29, 2004. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ Wickes Furniture, Samson Marketing Executives To Receive Top Honors. Furniture World Magazine. July 11, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  10. ^ Carissa Wyant (May 15, 2007). "Report: Wickes Furniture to close Minnesota stores". Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  11. ^ Karen Jacobs (February 4, 2008). "Furniture retailer Wickes files for bankruptcy". Reuters. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  12. ^ Clint Engel (February 6, 2008). "Wickes asks court to set auction date". Furniture Today. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  13. ^ Lorene Yue (February 29, 2008). "Court OKs Wickes' liquidation sale". Chicago Business. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 

External links[edit]