Goody’s going out of business

Published 7:46 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

It’s just a matter of time before the Andalusia Goody’s Family Clothing Store closes its doors after the recent announcement the corporate chain would begin liquidating its stores today.

The move comes less than four months after the privately held retailer emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and affects the Knoxville, Tenn.-based chain’s 287 stores scattered throughout 20 Midwestern and Southern states.

It’s uncertain what will happen to the company’s 9,800 workers after the liquidation — being handled by a joint venture between Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC and Hilco Merchant Resources LLC — is completed by the end of March. But without a last minute buyer or an investor to purchase high-performing stores, their job outlook is grim.

Store manager Maggie Givens said she has told her 26 store employees to begin looking for a new job immediately.

“I’m telling them if they can get a job some place else now, go. Don’t wait until the doors close,” Givens said. “Jobs right now, especially retail jobs, are so few and far between. If they find something, they should jump on it.”

Goody’s corporate office cites “pressures from tightening credit markets, strain on merchandise flow and a sizable but isolated number of underperforming stores in the chain” for the closures.

Andalusia was not one of those underperforming stores, Givens said.

“Andalusia has been very good to Goody’s and Goody’s has been very good for Andalusia,” she said. “(The closure) wasn’t due to this store, I can tell you. This is a company wide thing. If the company had 100 more like (Andalusia’s), it would have never happened.

“I just hate it for my employees,” she said.