Samuels to Shed 38 Stores

In an effort to shore up sagging profits, Samuels Jewelers will close 38 of its 163 stores. The stores are scheduled to remain in operation through January 2002. Randy McCullough, president and chief executive officer of the Austin, Texas-based chain, says the company will use those stores to liquidate $11 million worth of unproductive merchandise through the Christmas season, thus creating a "huge liquidity event" for Samuels. "The liquidation of this inventory coupled with the closure of the 38 stores positions the company to move forward with 125 profitable stores and a very clean inventory," McCullough says. Samuels has retained Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and The Ozer Group to oversee the store closings and liquidation of the inventory. The agreement also calls for Gordon Brothers to receive a purchase money security interest in approximately $1.5 million worth of gold jew

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