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MyerEmco, 55 Yr. A/V Specialty Store, To Close

3/10/2010 12:13:00 PM Eastern

GAITHERSBURG, MD. — MyerEmco
Audio Video is going out of business.

The privately held dealer, which served
the Washington D.C. market for the past
55 years and helped set the standard for
the independent A/V specialist, said it
succumbed to the prolonged recession
and a credit squeeze that left it without
sufficient working capital.

Liquidation sales at all seven stores began
Feb. 12 and are expected to run for
60 days.

President/CEO Jon Myer said he had
“tried to stem the tide” for the past 15
months by cutting expenses, closing a
store and reducing staff — including former
president Gary Yacoubian — and
even sold a home in order to put the proceeds
into the business.

But “the economic downturn was like a
light switch,” he told TWICE, as revenues
plummeted by upwards of 35 percent.

Compounding the effects of the recession
were declining
video margins and
average selling prices,
he said, as well
as unfavorable payment
terms by vendors
that essentially
forced the family
business to finance
manufacturers.

Myer believes he
could have made a go
of it from a base of
three core stores, but
was unable to extricate
the company from its
lease obligations.

He was finally forced to pull the plug
after his bank refused to extend additional
credit to the struggling chain.

Myer said his immediate priority is
to pay back business partners and secured
creditors, although going forward
he hopes to acquire the MyerEmco name
and customer list for a possible
comeback.

The company was founded
by Myer’s father Ed in
1955 as a ham radio repair
shop, and generated
$35 million in CE sales
in 2008, according to the
TWICE Top 100 retail
rankings.

An ad signed by Myer
announcing the closing reads in part,
“Unfortunately, our greatest sale ever
will be our last. It’s sad but true. After
55 years of serving the Washingtonarea
community, MyerEmco Audio Video
will be closing its doors forever. As a
family-operated business, we’ve outlasted
many high-profi le competitors, but we
couldn’t outlast this Great Recession.”