Fortunoff Is the Newest Member of “Chapter 22”

The retailer joins a crowd of others in filing for Chapter 11 for a second time.
Stephen TaubFebruary 5, 2009

Fortunoff Fine Jewelry & Silverware has filed for bankruptcy, becoming the latest among a growing number of retailers to fall back into bankruptcy for a second time — jokingly called “Chapter 22.”

The company, a luxury goods chain that is well known in the New York City area, previously entered bankruptcy in February 2008. It was subsequently acquired by NRDC Equity Partners for $110 million, including $80 million in cash.  NRDC is a private equity firm that acquires retail, leisure, lodging, and commercial real estate companies. It owns Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay.                                   

Other retailers that recently made their second Chapter 11 filing include KB Toys, Steve & Barry’s, Goody’s, BTWW, and Mattress Discounters. Tower Records filed in 2006 for the second time in less than three years.

Goody’s made its latest filing last month, saying it planned to liquidate its remaining 282 stores. It had emerged from bankruptcy last October after entering Chapter 11 four months earlier.

KB Toys’ December bankruptcy filing was second time in four years. The 86-year-old toy retailer cited a sudden drop in sales over the previous two months.

In November, Dallas-based BTWW Retail sought Chapter 11 protection. It previously did so in 2003.

Steve & Barry’s filed for bankruptcy twice in 2008. After filing the first time in early July, it was bought in August by BH S&B Holdings, a newly formed affiliate of investment firms Bay Harbour Management and York Capital Management. It went into Chapter 11 again in November.

Mattress Discounters filed for bankruptcy in September for the second time in six years.



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