P.C. Richard & Son will put its newly won rights to The Wiz name to work by opening several Wiz stores and launching a Wiz-branded online retail operation.
P.C. Richard & Son agreed to pay $1.8 million for the rights to the name The Wiz as part of a U.S. Bankruptcy Court ruling earlier this month by Judge Mary Walrath. The cost breaks down to P.C. Richard paying $1.6 million for the names and trademarks of The Wiz and $200,000 for customer lists.
Gary Richard, president and CEO of P.C. Richard, said his regional chain purchased the rights to the name and intellectual property of The Wiz because, "There is still some credibility to the name and with P.C. Richard behind The Wiz we could add value. We're going to use it on a Web site. We have their customer mailing list and we'll open up a couple of Wiz stores."
According to a clerk of the court, the New York-based chain won the court-ordered auction for the name, trademarks and intellectual properties of the defunct retailer over several other bidders. These include Calif.-based distributor ITC Electronics, as well as New Jersey-based LTI Electronics, which was founded by former 6th Avenue Electronics City president Leon Temiz.
Temiz said he had previously bid $125,000 for the rights to The Wiz name, trademarks and other intellectual property and was awarded such rights on July 31. He believed, however, that former owners of The Wiz and P.C. Richard complained to the Bankruptcy Court, which resulted in a reopened bidding on August 28 in which P.C. Richard was the high bidder.
"There was a closed bidding and I won, but because the bankruptcy court wanted to get more money, the judge decided to reopen the bidding," said Temiz.
Temiz's company, LTI Electronics, recently purchased two former Wiz locations in Roxbury and Summerville, N.J. Those locations will open as planned, he said.
Richard agreed with Temiz on why the bid process was reopened, but said no complaint on the process was filed, "We didn't complain to the Court Judge. She wasn't happy with the dollars it was going to be sold for and how the bidding process went. She thought it would bring in more money that $125,000 and she was right."
Richard did not have a timetable for when the stores would open or when the Web store would go online, but he did say the stores will be located in the New York City area. P.C. Richard currently operates an online retail operation under its own name.
The Wiz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, after being sold to Gordon Brothers Group, a Boston-based retail liquidation firm, by cable and entertainment conglomerate Cablevision. It had 17 stores in the greater New York market at the time of the filing. All locations have since closed. The Wiz closed 26 additional stores in 2002.