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Ames Department Stores to Liquidate

15 Aug, 2002 By: Joan Villa

Blaming soft sales and a sluggish economy, Ames Department Stores will liquidate and close all 327 locations after a year of operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Facing a “wrenching decision,” chairman and CEO Joseph Ettore said the 44-year-old chain would rather pursue orderly liquidation than “continue along a path that would further diminish our resources and lead Ames to default on its lending agreements.”

Ames was No. 9 in Video Store Magazine's mass merchant ranking (April 28- May 4) with $21.2 million in video revenue. Overall the discount retailer tallied annual sales of $2.7 billion, operating in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. Pending approval of the bankruptcy court, Ames will designate a liquidator to conduct "Going Out of Business" sales expected to last 10 weeks.

"Our associates and managers have worked long and hard, trying to restore the viability of Ames,” Ettore said. “But despite those efforts, and the efforts of management to control costs and restructure our operations, the difficult environment for discount retailing and the continued slowness in the economy have made it impossible for us to deliver the sales volume we need to meet our obligations.”

Founded in 1958, Ames employed 21,500 associates.

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