Heilig-Meyers

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Heilig-Meyers
Industry Retail
Fate Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Founded 1913
Defunct 2000 (emerged from bankruptcy as RoomStore in 2005)
Headquarters Richmond, Virginia
Products Furniture, bedding, small appliances, consumer electronics, jewelry, and seasonal goods.
Website None

Heilig-Meyers was a retail furniture store chain founded in Goldsboro, North Carolina, in 1913 by two Lithuanian immigrants, H. A. Heilig and J. M. Meyers. Its corporate headquarters was in Richmond, Virginia. The chain grew to become the largest furniture retailer in the United States in the 1990s, ultimately having over 1,000 stores nationwide (including Puerto Rico).

Its over-expansion—by purchasing over 100 McMahan's Furniture stores based in Carlsbad, California, in 1993, as well as other stores and chains in the West—contributed to its failure. The company also bought the L. Fish furniture chain in the Chicagoland area; those stores were closed in 1999.[1]

Heilig-Meyers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on August 17, 2000,[2] and subsequently announced the liquidation of its inventory.[3] The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported in 2000 that the company failed when its large expansion did not succeed in creating sufficient revenue and when customers who'd previously used the company's in-house credit began using credit cards instead. The company's credit customers had grown increasingly of lower quality.[4] All of its stores were closed at the end of the year, except for its RoomStore-branded locations, which remained open. In 2005, RoomStore, the only part of Heilig-Meyers remaining, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after receiving $35,000,000 to pay off its debts;[5] RoomStore would be liquidated 7 years later.

The company, which had sponsored NASCAR drivers Bobby Hillin, Jr., Dick Trickle and Mike Wallace, was one of the last furniture companies to finance its own accounts. The last CEO/President was Bill DeRusha.

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