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American TV Liquidating St. Louis Stores

6/03/2011 11:34:55 AM Eastern

St. Louis, Mo. - American TV & Appliance will begin fire sales tomorrow at its four St. Louis superstores.

The company said the closings were prompted by the weak local economy and will leave the specialty chain with 11 locations in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and its home state of Wisconsin. It entered the St. Louis market in 2004.

The liquidation sales will be conducted by Hilco Merchant Resources, which valued the inventory at about $22 million in CE, appliances, mattresses and furniture.

"The St. Louis market was just hit harder by the recession than almost any other market that American operates in," a company spokesman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It got to the point where it wasn't healthy enough to sustain the business there."

He said sales trends are "positive" at American's remaining superstores, which average 130,000 square feet and are each staffed by about 125 employees.

The closely-held company was founded in 1954 by TV repairman Ferd Mattioli and is led by CEO and majority shareholder Doug Reuhl. American placed 43rd in CE and 17th in appliances on TWICE's Top 100 Retailer rankings.

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