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Retail Briefs

Fortunoff GOB Sales Underway

After 87 years in business in the Northeast U.S., fine jewelry, housewares and home furnishings retailer Fortunoff is seeing its inventory liquidated under a court-ordered bankruptcy sale that started Thursday, Feb. 26.

The sale includes all 20 store locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania in the wake of Fortunoff's Chapter 11 filing on Feb. 5 and the successful bid last week by a consortium of liquidators led by Great American Group.

The inventory is valued at about $212 million, said Fortunoff Holdings, LLC, the retailer's parent firm controlled by NRDC Equity Partners, which bought the chain out of a pre-packaged bankruptcy in early 2008. Fixtures will also be sold.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved the sale of Fortunoff assets to a joint venture comprising Great American Group, LLC; SB Capital Group, LLC; Tiger Capital Group, LLC; and Hudson Capital Partners, LLC; along with jewelry liquidators Wilkerson and Associates and The Gordon Co.

Z Gallerie Closing 25 of 77 Stores

Home furnishings and decorative accessories retailer Z Gallerie plans to close about one third of its stores — or 25 units — as the result of “the general slowing of the economy,” a spokesperson told HTT. “Nothing is closed yet, these are just the plans,” said Dan Hilley, spokesman for the family-owned and operated Gardena, Calif.-based chain, which currently has a presence in 24 states. “We still don't know when we'll close them, and we are still finalizing some of the markets where we plan to close some of the stores.”

But he did confirm all four Z Galleries in Ohio are to be permanently shut down. The retailer also intends to consolidate its distribution network as part of the same effort. Once the target sites are closed, Z Gallerie will maintain 52 stores nationwide.

Z Gallerie first opened its doors in 1979. Its average store size is 10,000 square feet and its merchandise mix comprises home furnishings — including home textiles — for all rooms of a home.

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