Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

October Closing Date Set for Bargain Time

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

October Closing Date Set for Bargain Time

Article excerpt

E-II Holdings Inc. of New York has announced it will close more than 200 Bargain Time stores in 23 states, including 25 locations in Oklahoma and 10 in the metropolitan Oklahoma City area.

Bargain Time is a wholly owned subsidiary of E-II, which also controls McCrory Stores Inc., Samsonite Corp., Culligan International Co., McGregor Corp. and McGregor Licensing Inc.

Closing activities at Bargain Time stores will begin immediately and be complete by October, said Carol Snyder, spokeswoman for McCrory Stores Inc. of York, Pa.

"The return on investment in the stores is not acceptable for them to remain operational in the short-term," Snyder said. "The long-term prospects appear positive, but the national retail climate does not look favorable."

Bargain Time entered the Oklahoma market by opening nine stores in April 1989, in former McCrory and TG&Y locations. The company announced its intention to develop a chain of "opportunity merchandising" stores in the Sun Belt.

Bargain Time's purchasing department, based in Newark, N.J., has pursued a strategy of buying manufacturers' discontinued items, end-of-production runs, out-of-model stock and excess merchandise. The merchandise then has been distributed to the stores and sold at discount prices.

"The negative national retail atmosphere, with so many retailers going bankrupt and conducting going-out-of-business sales, has had a marked adverse effect on the attitude of the financial community," according to a statement prepared by Snyder, "and has made it virtually impossible to obtain seasonal financing to assure a normal flow of merchandise."

She said the decision to close Bargain Time was made in part to protect E-II's other concerns, including McCrory, Samsonite, Culligan and McGregor.

"We have been asked why Bargain Time did not file for chapter 11," Snyder said. "Bankruptcy is for organizations that need protection from creditors. That is not a problem in this case. …

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