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Amazing Savings files bankruptcy

Amazing Savings, the chain of discount close-out stores,

filed for bankruptcy yesterday in Manhattan after it defaulted on a $56-million

loan.

The company, based in South Plainfield, N.J., operates about 25 stores in

New York City and Long Island and sells overstock merchandise such as

electronics, apparels and housewares.

In total, Amazing Savings owns or leases 87 stores in New York, New Jersey,

Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan, Delaware, Maryland and Ohio.

Amazing Savings is operating at a loss of $1 million per week, according to

papers filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New

York. It plans to conduct clearance sales at all of its stores and close all

but 20 or 30 of them.

Formed from the 2003 merger of Amazing Savings and Odd Job Stores Inc., the

company experienced "a dramatic decrease in customer traffic and a significant

decline in sales" in mid-2004, according to the filings.

As of Nov. 27, the company had liabilities of $90 million but assets of

only $67.5 million. The defaulted loan was arranged in June by Fleet Retail

Group and several other lenders.

The company, which has hired the Uniondale law firm of Scarcella, Rosen &

Slome, said it will consider a sale of all or some of the company's assets or

try to reorganize and emerge from the bankruptcy process as a viable business.

The company is asking the court to approve the hiring of liquidation

consultants Gordon Brothers, the Nassi Group and the Ozer Group.

Adam Rosen, the lawyer representing Amazing Savings, was not immediately

available to comment on the bankruptcy or the immediate plans for the company's

1,400 employees.

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