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Sat, April 20

Heilig-Meyers to close last Arizona stores

PHOENIX — Arizona already has lost 10 Heilig-Meyers Co. stores. Now it will lose the remaining five.

The company announced Wednesday that it will close all of its remaining 375 Heilig-Meyers furniture stores and will liquidate its inventory. About 3,750 employees will be affected.

James Doren, manager of the local Heilig-Meyers on Whiskey Row, was unavailable for comment Thursday. However, during the company's latest round of closures this past February, Doren seemed to be optimistic about his store's future. "Our store's going to stay open," he said at the time.

After filing for bankruptcy this past August, the company closed about 300 stores, including its Phoenix-area locations, as well as two stores in Yuma.

The five Arizona stores that survived those first two cuts – in Flagstaff, Prescott, Show Low, Kingman and Holbrook – will now close.

Although there was no figure for the Arizona job loss, officials said a store typically has from eight to 10 employees.

The Richmond-based company said it also was in talks with "various interested parties" to sell its three Homemakers stores.

Company officials said closing the Heilig-Meyers stores will help them pay off their creditors and allow the company to focus on its RoomStore operations, which will be the centerpiece of the company's revised business model.

The company's 54 RoomStores are concentrated in metropolitan markets in Texas, Maryland and Washington, D.C., and generate annual revenue of about $300 million, company officials said.

Since it filed for voluntary Chapter 11 last August, Heilig-Meyers has converted 16 of its stores into RoomStores.

Heilig-Meyers does not own Arizona's RoomStores.


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