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Sun, May 19

Heilig-Meyers announces more store closures... none in Arizona

RICHMOND, Va. – Heilig-Meyers Co., which already closed nearly half of its stores this past year, announced this week that it intends to shutter an additional 116 outlets over the next three months.

After filing for bankruptcy in August, the struggling home furnishings retailer closed 302 stores and laid off about 4,400 employees.

This time around, the Richmond, Va.-based company will close 111 Heilig-Meyer stores, five RoomStore outlets and two distribution centers – eliminating a total of about 1,000 jobs.

James Doren, the new manager of Prescott's Heilig-Meyers store at 156 S. Montezuma St., said that the recent announcement will not affect his store.

"Our store's going to stay open," he said.

The company recently promoted Doren, who has worked at the local furniture store for 10 years, after longtime manager John Lutes' resignation in January.

Lutes, who managed the store for 22 years, said that he decided to leave so he could focus on his career as a blown glass artist. He said that Heilig-Meyers' recent financial woes did not contribute to his decision.

Currently, his artwork is on display at the Arts Prescott Gallery on Whiskey Row, as well as the Prescott Fine Arts Center on Marina Street.

After the recently announced closures, Heilig-Meyers will retain about 400 stores, which is less than half of the 814 it operated when it began downsizing in August.

So far, the company has targeted 30 stores for closure in North Carolina, 14 in Georgia, 12 in Virginia, eight each in South Carolina and West Virginia, six in Tennessee and five each in Illinois and Ohio. The other 23 closures will occur across 12 states.

During the latest round of closures, Heilig-Meyers shuttered its Phoenix-area locations, as well as two stores in Yuma.

In addition to the Prescott store, the company kept its other northern Arizona locations in Flagstaff, Kingman, Show Low and Holbrook.

At the time, Lutes said that Heilig-Meyers kept its northern Arizona stores open because they were profitable.

Heilig-Meyers has not targeted any of its remaining Arizona stores for closure.


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