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Flanner’s Liquidating

Brookfield, Wis. – Flanner’s Home
Entertainment is accepting bids for its assets after attempts at refinancing

The one-store specialty A/V

suspended operations in

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 appoint a receiver, 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 Sentinal, “It’s super sad for me in
my industry.”

Abt and Flanner’s were former
members of the Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group), the buying group
for independent specialty A/V dealers.

Flanner’s 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 core brands and product lines that were
once off-limits to discount chains.

Bidding will conclude June 23.