Make us your home page
Instagram

Linens 'n Things stores may close

Linens 'n Things, the country's second-largest housewares retailer, could fold by the end of the year.

The hedge fund that owns Linens 'n Things has asked a Delaware bankruptcy judge to put the company up for a liquidation auction.

Seven of the chain's 31 Florida stores are in the Tampa Bay area. Stores locally already were a promotional riot of buy-one-get-one-at-50-percent-off deals and half-price clearance prices Wednesday.

Some prospective bidders are interested in keeping pieces of the retailer in business in Canada. But most of the company's inventory in the United States is expected to end up in the hands of liquidators who will stage store-closing sales that begin within two weeks.

The company said it wanted to start its going-out-of-business sales soon to get a head start on rival liquidations by competitors by the end of the year.

Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi on Tuesday took steps to set up a stalking-horse auction.

"First there is weeklong auction process," said Rich Tauberman, a spokesman for Linens Holdings Co. of Clifton, N.J., said in declining to identify interested buyers. "I don't think we can make any comment until the auction is complete."

The prospect of a 371-store chain dropping prices in going-out-of-business sales will make an already difficult retailing climate tougher for Linens 'n Things competitors during the upcoming holiday season.

"It's tragic what's happened to the employees and this business," said Burt Flickinger III, a New York retailing consultant. "But that's what seems to happen when these Wall Street private equity funds think they can run retail companies."

Billionaire Leon Black's Apollo Management acquired Linens 'n Things in 2006 for about $1.3-billion. That was followed by an a series of store closings, continued losses and cost cutting until what had been a 589-store chain that employed about 16,000 filed for protection from creditors in May.

Mark Albright can be reached at albright@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8252.

>>Fast facts

Local Linens 'n Things

• Lake Brandon Village, Brandon

• Clearwater Mall, Clearwater

• Crossroads Shopping Center, St. Petersburg

• Walters Crossing, Tampa

• The Walk at Highwoods Preserve, Tampa

• Gulfview Square Mall, Port Richey

• Coastal Way, Brooksville

Linens 'n Things stores may close 10/08/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 13, 2008 1:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Early estimates peg Hurricane Irma damage at as much as $65B

    Banking

    The damage totals from Hurricane Irma are still being tallied, but early numbers are in: As of Tuesday, the storm is estimated to have caused between $42.5 billion and $65 billion of damage. That's according to a Tuesday release by Irvine, Calif.-based analytics company CoreLogic.

    Hurricane Irma is estimated to have caused up to $65 billion in damage, said analytics company CoreLogic. Pictured is 
Hermilo Munoz Castillo as wades down a flooded street to check on his home in southern Collier County, Fla. after Hurricane Irma passed. | [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Port Tampa Bay makes public/private commitment for $60 million expansion project

    Business

    TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay approved a public-private partnership agreement with four other entities to divvy up who will pay for a $60 million widening and extension of the Big Bend Channel.

    Port Tampa Bay approved a participation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa Electric Company and Mosaic Company at the port's monthly board meeting on  Tuesday. Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson signs the agreement as Ram Kancharla; Port Tampa Bay's vice president of planning & development, Brandon Burch; project manager at United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lois Moore; of Alcalde and Fay and Charles Klug; Port Tampa Bay principal counsel, and Tim Murphy; deputy district engineer of the Army Corps., looks on. [Company handout]
  3. One of St. Petersburg's newest condo projects is sold out

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. Records show that a 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit sold Friday for $620,000 in an all-cash deal. Two other units — a 3-bedroom, 2-bath penthouse and a …

     Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. 
[Rendering courtesy of aalliiggnn LLC]
  4. Reload your SunPass account. Roadway tolls return Thursday.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida residents will no longer get a free pass traversing most stretches of the Florida Turnpike or certain local expressways across the state.

    With a push by the Florida Turpike to encourage more drivers traveling the Veterans and Suncoast Parkway to buy a Sunpass, motorists will begin to see more lanes converted to handle Sunpass. [Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Tampa Heights project gets $21.5 million in funding

    Real Estate

    TAMPA --- The Tampa-based Heights Community Development District got a financial boost from a $21.5 million tax-exempt bond issue to fund the waterfront community being built along the Hillsborough River just north of downtown Tampa. Proceeds from the bond issue are expected to used for new roads, sidewalks, the Tampa …

    Tampa's Heights Community Development District got a financial boost from a $21.5 million tax-exempt bond issue to fund the waterfront community being built along the Hillsborough River just north of downtown Tampa.
[Courtesy of Aerial Innovations, Inc.]