Noted Retailer Liquidates: Fortunoff: The End

After filing for Chapter 11 twice in little over a year, and being up for sale three times in the last five years, the 87-year-old 20-store chain Fortunoff in February became the latest jewelry chain to liquidate.

Fortunoff, an icon in the Northeast, was sold in 2004 by its founding family to investors Trimaran Capital Partners and Kier Group. Three years later, the company went Chapter 11 and was sold to another investment company, NRDC, which also owns Lord & Taylor. NRDC had planned to install “Fortunoff”-branded jewelry counters in Lord & Taylor stores.

But with losses mounting, the company again went Chapter 11 in February and was put up for sale by NRDC, but the only buyers it attracted were liquidators.

Vendors were furious, with one telling JCK: “NRDC pulled the rug out from under the people at Fortunoff after barely owning the company 11 months. They could have at least finished paying off their Christmas sales. Why hurt their vendors two years in a row?”

The liquidation covers inventory valued at approximately $212 million.