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Flanner’s Liquidating

BROOKFIELD, WIS. — Flanner’s
Home Entertainment is accepting
bids for its assets after attempts at
refinancing failed.

The one-store specialty A/V dealer
suspended operations in April after
its bank demanded loan repayment
and vendors curtailed shipments
amid a cash-flow crunch.

According to court documents cited
by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
First Business Bank Milwaukee petitioned
the local circuit court to place
Flanner’s in receivership, arguing that
principal John Flanner owed $811,213
on a $1.9 million loan.

Flanner, a past president of the Professional
Audio Video Retailers Association
(PARA), had entered into a forbearance agreement with the bank
and hired a consultant to help liquidate
or dispose of his family-held
business should attempts at refinancing
fail, the newspaper reported.

But the court-appointed receiver is
now accepting bids for Flanner’s inventory
and other assets to help settle
claims from suppliers and customers.

Bidders include Abt Electronics,
whose president, Mike Abt told the
Journal Sentinel, “It’s super sad for me
in my industry … He’s a good man.”
Abt and Flanner were former members
of the Progressive Retailers Organization
(PRO Group), the buying
group for independent specialty
A/V dealers.

Flanner had attributed his dilemma
to the economic downturn. But
the failure also underscores the challenges
facing independent dealers
in general and A/V specialists in
particular, as mass merchants encroach
on core brands and product
lines that were once off-limits to discount

“In this day and age you can’t survive
just selling TVs,” Abt told the

Bidding is expected to conclude
June 23.