Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Heilig-Meyers Files to Reorganize Furniture Retailer to Close 1 of 3 Jacksonville Stores

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Heilig-Meyers Files to Reorganize Furniture Retailer to Close 1 of 3 Jacksonville Stores

Article excerpt

Furniture retailer Heilig-Meyers Co. yesterday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced plans to close 302 of its 812 stores, including one of its three Jacksonville stores and 15 others in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.

The Richmond, Va.-based company will close its store at 762 Edgewood Ave. N. in Jacksonville within 30 to 60 days. Its Chapter 11 reorganization plan includes the closing of 15 other Florida stores, including sites in Lake City, Live Oak and DeLand.

Heilig-Meyers also announced plans to close 25 Georgia locations, including stores in Adel, Alma, Ashburn, Bainbridge, Brunswick, Douglas, Hazklehurst, Homerville, Kingsland, Tifton, Waycross and Hinesville at 829 E.G. Miles Parkway. A second Hinesville store will remain open.

All of the store closings are expected to take place in the next 30 to 60 days.

By filing for Chapter 11 protection, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Heilig-Meyers expects to be able to continue daily operations at its remaining stores and its distribution centers while it restructures its finances. The company's other Jacksonville stores, at 7450 Beach Blvd. and 6254 103rd St., are two of 509 Heilig-Meyers stores that will remain open.

Heilig-Meyers also operates 57 RoomStore locations and three Homemakers stores in other states that will continue operating.

Heilig-Meyers employs 13 people at its Edgewood Avenue store, said company spokesman Barry Brockwell. "I think it's fair to say those associates will be let go in the closing process," he said.

Brockwell said he did not know how many people were employed at the other stores that are closing. The company employed a total of 16,500 people but will cut about 4,400 workers as it closes stores.

Heilig-Meyers, which says it is the nation's largest retailer of home furnishings and related items, said disappointing financial results, coupled with an inability to secure alternate financing sources, forced the company to file for Chapter 11 protection. …

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