Why Did Robbins Bros. Fail?

Robbins Bros.' recent Chapter 11 filing happened because the company expanded too much, too quickly, sources said. After the chain was recapitalized in 2004, partly by investment firm Weston Presidio, it went from seven stores to 16 in about four years, opening new markets in Dallas, Chicago, and Houston. The goal was a 50-store chain, and the openings took place rapidly because the company was worried competitors would steal its format. While the plan may have worked in more hospitable times, the company was soon hit by a triple whammy: the deteriorating Southern California economy, bad weather in Houston, and a mixed welcome for its Chicago stores. There was also a changing of the guard. One Robbins brother—Skip—left to form A.A. Robbins in Seattle, while Steve Robbins remained as CEO. Day-to-day operations, however, were run by Andy Heyneman, a former vice president with Guita

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