Liquidator expects to acquire Domain Home   

Norwood, Mass. — Liquidator Great American Group says it expects to acquire retailer Domain Home this week with its stalking horse bid, because no better bids were submitted and the bankruptcy court auction was called off.

A nod from U.S Bankruptcy Court in Delaware Friday would signal the beginning of the end for Domain, an upscale Top 100 company. Great American plans to liquidate its 27 stores in the Northeast and greater Washington, D.C.

Jeff Yellen, president of Great American’s furniture division, confirmed that the auction was off because of a lack of qualified bids. He said with court approval, going-out-of-business sales would start Saturday.

According to bankruptcy documents, Great American was to pay Domain 64 cents on the dollar cost value of the inventory, which has been estimated at $8 million to just under $10 million. Yellen wouldn’t say how much the sales are estimated to generate.

Yellen said the sales will run until the inventory is cleared out — probably three to five weeks, possibly longer at Domain’s largest showrooms.

“Domain is a fine company and we’re sad to see that after all these years, it has to be liquidated,” Yellen said. “During the sale process, we’re looking forward to working with all of the Domain employees and personnel. They’ve worked hard at their company and should be proud of what they’ve built.”

Domain, which filed for bankruptcy protection Jan. 18, is ranked No. 93 on Furniture/Today’s Top 100 with estimated furniture, bedding and accessories sales of $66.3 million in 2006 at 29 stores in Massachusetts, metro Baltimore and Washington, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Total revenues were estimated at $71.3 million.

The company was founded in 1985 by ceo Judy George, who most recently was leading an effort to find investors to lead the company out of bankruptcy as a going concern. She could not be reached for comment.

(Reported by Clint Engel, senior retail editor of Furniture Today, an HTT sister publication.)

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