Samuels Jewelers, currently in Chapter 11, is holding store-closing sales at all 120 of its locations beginning today, though CEO Farhad Wadia says the 125-year-old chain still hopes for a buyer.
“We are talking to at least three enterprise buyers now,” he says. “My feeling is that at least one of them will take the brand and some of the stores. About 70–80 of them have great potential.”
Interested parties have until Jan. 21, 2019, to submit bids. The release from liquidator Gordon Brothers specifically notes that the company is looking for a going-concern purchaser and adds, “in the event a transaction is consummated, certain or all of the stores may remain open.”
But Wadia says the store needed to hang the going-out-of-business banners to expedite the sale of merchandise.
“We have accumulated $150 million in inventory,” he continues. “To sell it is no easy task. Buyers are interested in the brand, they are interested in the stores, but they aren’t interested in the inventory. We are hopeful that once we liquidate all the inventory we will become an attractive proposition.”
The store-closing sales, run by Gordon Brothers in association with Hilco Merchant Resources, includes stores with the Samuels Diamonds, Rogers Jewelers, Schubach Jewelers, and Andrews Jewelers nameplates.
Samuels Jewelers filed for Chapter 11 on Aug. 7 in Delaware bankruptcy court, after legal issues engulfed owner Gitanjali Group and its chairman Mehul Choksi. Gitanjali purchased Samuels in 2006 and Rogers Jewelers a year later.
Earlier this month, the bankruptcy court appointed John J. Carney, a partner in law firm Baker & Hostetler, as an independent examiner. He has 120 days to determine if any executive at Samuels played a role in the alleged bank fraud perpetrated by Choksi.
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