Linens 'n Things
Originally, big box retailer
Currently, online retailer
|Fate||Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (retail stores)|
|Founded||1975 (as retail stores)|
2009 (as online retailer)
|Defunct||2008 (as retail stores)|
2018 (as online retailer)
|Headquarters||Clifton, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Scott Hurd (CFO), Robert (Bob) DiNicola, (CEO)|
|Revenue||$2.70 bil in 2005.|
Linens 'n Things was an online retailer of home textiles, housewares and decorative home accessories. Until 2008, the company also did business across the United States and Canada as a big box retailer under the name Linens 'n Things, Inc. Headquartered in Clifton, New Jersey, United States, the chain operated 571 stores in 47 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces, and had 7,300 employees as of December 2006.
The company's business strategy was "to offer a broad selection of high quality, brand name home furnishings merchandise at exceptional everyday values, provide superior guest service, and maintain low operating costs."
The relaunch of the company as an online retailer was announced in February 2009 on its former website, LNT.com. Following the conclusion of business on the original website on February 15, 2009, customers were redirected to the online store's new home, originally located at thenewlnt.com but later relocated to the old website, lnt.com.
Acquisition and trouble
The company was acquired in February 2006 by Apollo Global Management, a private equity limited partnership, for US$1.3 billion. As a part of the transition from a public company to the private-owned business, the position of CEO went from Norman Axelrod to Robert (Bob) DiNicola; alongside of him were several executives such as F. David Coder who is President and Omer Fancy who is the executive Vice President of Marketing.
According to Form 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended September 29, 2007, Linens Holding Co. and subsidiaries (including Linens 'n Things, Inc. acquired in February 2006 for cash of approximately $1.3 billion) reported net sales of $666.8 million, versus $658.2 million in the year-earlier period. The increase in net sales was primarily due to the opening of new stores since Sept. 30, 2006 offset by the impact of a decline in comparable store sales. The decline in comparable store sales was primarily due to a decline in customer transactions partially offset by an increase in average transaction value.
The operating loss (after a charge of $16.8 million for impairment of property and equipment in the more recent quarter) was $56.6 million against a loss of $17.9 million a year ago. After net interest expense and other income & expense, the loss before income taxes was $79.2 million compared to a loss of $41.7 million. After provision/benefit for income taxes, Linens Holdings reported a net loss of $79.9 million versus a net loss of $27.4 million.
On April 17, 2008, the New York Post reported that the company was seeking to sell its highly profitable Canadian Division, but no one at Linens 'n Things would confirm nor deny this, saying only that an adviser had been hired to explore strategic alternatives. Ultimately the Canadian Linens 'n Things stores met the same fate as their U.S. counterparts.
Bankruptcy and liquidation
On May 2, 2008, Linens 'n Things filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed 120 stores. In August 2008, Linens 'n Things devised a plan to emerge from bankruptcy early in 2009. Under the plan, the retailer intended to reverse many of the strategies introduced after the company was bought by Apollo. Chief among those tactics was a shift to splashy clearance sales and product promotions. Revised management wished to return Linens 'n Things to an "everyday, low price" model it had pursued during its earlier years as a public company. It also wished to improve the quality of its merchandise and to keep shelves stocked in timely fashion, the paper said.
On October 7, 2008, Bloomberg News reported that Linens 'n Things asked the Bankruptcy Court for permission to auction the remaining 371 stores and hold store closing sales. On October 14, the company announced its official sale to a group of asset recovery specialists. The company began going-out-of-business sales at its remaining stores in both the United States and Canada and on the chain's website, LNT.com, on October 17. The sales concluded on December 28, 2008 in all stores, but Linens 'n Things continued the going-out-of-business sale on its website until February 15, 2009.
In 2009, Linens 'n Things emerged from bankruptcy as planned and announced that the website would remain open for business following the conclusion of the primary online store closing sale. The e-commerce site was taken over by new ownership to continue the same focus as the brick and mortar stores prior to their closing. Linens N Things was sold on December 9, 2013 from Gordon Brother & Hilco Global to the Galaxy Brand Holdings , subsequently shutting down the website in 2018.
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