Mayor’s Jewelers to close 13 stores as part of restructuring effort

Mayor’s Jewelers, Inc., Sunrise, Fla., has embarked on a restructuring plan that it believes will put the company on the path to future profitability.

The multi-faceted plan includes an infusion of new debt and equity, the refinancing of the company’s current bank debt, the closing of 13 unprofitable and underperforming stores, and the liquidation of certain non-performing assets, the company said in a statement. The stores targeted for closure include 11 properties outside of the company’s core Florida and Georgia marketplace, as well as two stores in Florida.

“The closing of these stores marks a significant retrenchment of the company’s recent expansion strategy into states where Mayor’s does not enjoy the brand loyalty that it has enjoyed in Florida and Georgia,” said the statement.

Other assets earmarked for liquidation include unproductive inventory, the company’s headquarters building and associated real estate in Sunrise, Fla., fixed assets in the stores targeted for closure, and other undisclosed assets. As part of its restructuring plan, Mayor’s says it is in the process of reworking its capital structure. The effort includes a possible refinancing of the company’s existing bank debt and a potential infusion of new debt and equity from a third-party investor.

Mayor’s reported an $83.9 million net loss in fiscal year 2001, ended Feb. 2, 2002, compared to a $2.6 million profit in fiscal year 2000.

For the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2, Mayor’s reported a net loss of $57.4 million, compared to a $20.3 million profit during the same time a year earlier. Sales declined 15.9% during the quarter to $58.4 million. Comparable store sales declined 21%.