New York – Vann’s,
the 51-year-old electronics/appliance retailer based in Missoula, Mont., with
five stores, is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
McConnell told TWICE that Vann’s is waiting to finalize documents that will be
filed on Friday and that by Monday, Aug. 6, “we will start the week in court.”
confirmed that the chain lost its credit line, but noted that its five Vann’s
stores are operating profitably as is Vanns.com, but more work has to be done
on the online side.
The CEO, who
joined Vann’s in mid-June, is a turnaround specialist and noted that the chain
has a “significant upside” and few “liabilities” with a “great reputation.”
Given the economy Vann’s now needs “to take a step back, reorganize and come
Vann’s operates two
sister companies: Big Sky Country, an outdoor apparel and sporting goods site,
and On Store, a specialty A/V and IT shop.
that with Big Sky Country, “we got out of our sandbox” since the company had no
experience in that business. Vann’s is in the process of selling it as an
On Store resembles
an Apple Store, McConnell said, which does the bulk of its volume from the back-to-school
season to the holiday season. “We will see by the end of the year where we are
with it and if it is a format we might want to replicate.”
Vann’s is a member of the Progressive
Retailers Organization (PRO Group), and Dave Workman, executive director/COO,
said McConnell has contacted him to make him aware of the situation.
longtime CEO George Manlove was
subwoofer-maker Velodyne Acoustics in mid-July as global sales and
Vann’s ranks 66th in
the TWICE Top 100 CE Retailers Report, with $77 million in annual sales, and is
72nd on the TWICE Top 100 Major Appliance Retailers Report, with $17 million in
sales, both for calendar year 2011.