Make us your home page

Robb & Stucky files for bankruptcy, considers store closings

Manny Navedo scans items while updating inventory in the then-new Robb & Stucky store at International Plaza. The mall location opened in 2005. Now it’s serving as a clearance center for the high-end chain, which filed for bankruptcy.

Times (2005)

Manny Navedo scans items while updating inventory in the then-new Robb & Stucky store at International Plaza. The mall location opened in 2005. Now it’s serving as a clearance center for the high-end chain, which filed for bankruptcy.

Robb & Stucky, the high-end furniture retail chain, has filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy that promises to lead to store closings and the possible sale of the 96-year-old company.

Which of the Fort Myers chain's 20 stores face closing remains up in the air, but Kevin Regan, the company's chief restructuring officer, says in a court filing that some closings are likely.

In one sign of trouble, the company's prominent store in a former Lord & Taylor department store in International Plaza in Tampa has been used since the holidays for an ongoing clearance sale of inventory gathered from several Florida stores.

Furniture stores get up to half their business from new home sales, so the 2007 Florida home-building industry crash made for tough times among home furnishings stores. In addition to stagnant growth markets in Florida, Robb & Stucky has big stores in Las Vegas and Scottsdale, Ariz., where home construction also is in a hurt locker. With an average transaction of $6,000 — six times the industry average — Robb & Stucky has been confronted with a bigger challenge than mainstream rivals.

How bad is it? Robb & Stucky generated sales of $139.7 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That's about half the $273.7 million of 2006. Meantime, annual operating income plunged from $11.6 million in 2006 to a loss of $12.3 million in 2010 despite four store closings.

The company secured financing to remain in business, but plans to consider offers to sell more of itself to new investors in a stalking horse auction, one in which an undisclosed bid from Hudson Capital will be used to weigh other offers.

Separately, Robb & Stucky filed a WARN mass layoff notice with the state Monday indicating it was cutting 178 jobs.

The Gap will move from WestShore to International

The Gap will end a long run in WestShore Plaza in June by moving into new lower-level space a mile away in International Plaza.

It's part of an ongoing reshuffling among the big area malls adjusting store sizes to demand and to fill empty spaces. Gap's corporate sibling Old Navy at WestShore, for example, is upgrading to the chain's new look while shrinking its space by a fifth to 20,000 square feet. Meantime, WestShore fills an empty spot near P.F. Chang's with a trendy Pinkberry frozen yogurt stand — the first in the region — that opens in March.

At IP, the Gap will offer a three-in-one store that includes GapKids and GapBaby in addition to the chain's latest prototype.

Meantime, IP also recently opened Zeades, (pronounced Ze-ah-dez), a luxury jeweler from Monte Carlo next to Neiman Marcus.

And in April, Destination Motherhood opens as a much larger version maternity store from the owners of A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity. The new store, which takes over where Harry & David used to be plus space never occupied before, will feature a juice bar, kids' play area and TV lounge for husbands.

Consumers' top fear is now rising prices

For the first time since the recession, fears of rising prices have shoved unemployment/job security aside as consumers' top economic concern.

That's from fresh surveys compiled by comScore, which found higher prices as the top concern among 42 percent of shoppers, enough to surge past 36 percent fretting about jobs. Worries about real estate value slipped to 11 percent and financial markets dropped to 7 percent.

"It's largely driven by gas prices" as retailers begin passing on more of rising commodities prices of food and raw cotton, said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore. "But job security remains a major concern."

Mark Albright can be reached at or (727) 893-8252.

Robb & Stucky files for bankruptcy, considers store closings 02/21/11 [Last modified: Monday, February 21, 2011 9:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The real estate pros in charge of Tampa's $3 billion makeover are younger than you think

    Working Life

    TAMPA — Brooke May, a 36-year-old senior construction project manager, knew she wanted to work for Strategic Property Partners the minute she met some team members involved with the group's massive downtown Tampa makeover.

    Matt Davis, Vice President of Development posed for a portrait in the Strategic Property Partners office in Channelside on July 12, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  2. St. Pete Beach may loosen beach drinking rules for hotel guests

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Drinking a beer, a cocktail or a glass of wine may soon be legal on this city's beaches, but only for hotel guests in and around their hotel's beachfront cabanas.

    Registered hotel guests would be able to drink alcoholic beverages at their cabanas on the beach under a new rule the St. Pete Beach City Commission is considering.  

  3. PunditFact: George Will's comparison of tax preparers, firefighters based on outdated data


    The statement

    "America has more people employed as tax preparers (1.2 million) than as police and firefighters."

    George Will, July 12 in a column

    The ruling

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Conservative newspaper columnist George Will poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
  4. Appointments at Shutts & Bowen and Tech Data highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Retired U.S. Navy Commander Scott G. Johnson has joined Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office as a senior attorney in the firm's Government Contracts and Corporate Law Practice Groups. Johnson brings 15 years of legal experience and 24 years of naval service to his position. At Shutts, Scott will …

    United States Navy Commander (Retired) Scott G. Johnson joins Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office. [Company handout]
  5. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board


    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]