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bankruptcy

Friendly's in Miller Place

Friendly’s Restaurants LLC, has filed for bankruptcy again and has an agreement to be sold to Amici Partners Group for just under $2 million. The parent company of the family-friendly restaurant chain, known for its Jim Dandy ice cream sundaes and Fribble milkshakes, made the announcement on Nov. 2. Almost all the 130 active Friendly’s locations will remain open and thousands of jobs will be preserved by the sale which is set to be complete in December.

As part of the deal, Friendly’s lenders have agreed to waive nearly $88 million in secured debt, according to court documents.

Friendly’s had been struggling since before the pandemic, closing hundreds of restaurants over the last decade and filing for bankruptcy in 2011. The chain had rebounded over the past two years, but COVID-19 restrictions became too much to overcome, the company said.

“Over the last two years, Friendly’s has made important strides toward reinvigorating our beloved brand in the face of shifting demographics, increased competition and rising costs,” George Michel, CEO of Friendly’s owner FIC Restaurants, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, like many restaurant businesses, our progress was suddenly interrupted by the catastrophic impact of COVID-19, which caused a decline in revenue as dine-in operations ceased for months and reopened with limited capacity.”

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New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group Inc., which operates nearly 3,000 stores mostly at malls, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the latest retailer to do so during the pandemic.

As part of its bankruptcy plan, the company said that it would close all of its Catherines stores, a select number of Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lane Bryant stores and a “significant number” of Justice stores including seven on Long Island — Bay Shore, Commack, Garden City, Hicksville, Lake Grove, Massapequa and West Babylon. After the closings, there will be three Justice stores remaining on Long Island in Deer Park, Valley Stream and Riverhead.

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New York & Company’s parent company RTW Retailwinds is the latest chain to file for bankruptcy as the coronavirus has piled additional pressure on an already challenging retail landscape. The company filed for Chapter 11 protection on July 13. It plans to permanently close most, if not all, of its stores and has begun liquidation sales.

The news affects 10 of the women’s clothing stores on Long Island, including four in Suffolk County — Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, Mayfair Shopping Center in Commack, Tanger Outlets in Deer Park and the Riverhead Outlet in Riverhead.

“The combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have caused significant financial distress on our business, and we expect it to continue to do so in the future,” RTW Retailwinds CEO and CFO Sheamus Toal said in a statement.

“As a result, we believe that a restructuring of our liabilities and a potential sale of the business or portions of the business is the best path forward to unlock value.”

Neiman Marcus, J.Crew, Sur la Table, Dean & Deluca, J.C. Penney, Brooks Brothers, and Gold’s Gym have also sought bankruptcy protection amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The Centereach store on Middle Country Road promotes clearance sales on March 13. Photo by Heidi Sutton
All stores on Long Island to close

Modell’s Sporting Goods, the nation’s  oldest, family-owned and operated retailer of sporting goods, athletic footwear and active apparel is going out of business.

Fourth-generation owner Mitchell Modell made the announcement last Wednesday after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and allowing for the liquidation of all of its 153 stores located in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. beginning March 13. 

Founded in 1889 by Morris A. Modell, the first Modell’s store was located on Cortlandt Street in lower Manhattan  according to the company’s website.

The retailer known for its “Gotta Go to Mo’s” ad slogan joins several other sporting goods giants including Sports Authority to shutter in recent years as online retail hurt brick-and -mortar sales.

The decision will affect 14 stores on Long Island including Rocky Point, Shirley, Centereach, Bohemia, Commack, Bay Shore and Huntington Station. The Riverhead and Farmingdale locations were closed last year.

“While we achieved some success, in partnership with our landlords and vendors, it was not enough to avoid a bankruptcy filing amid an extremely challenging environment for retailers,” Modell said in a statement on March 11. 

“This is certainly not the outcome I wanted, and it is one of the most difficult days of my life … but I believe liquidation provides the greatest recovery for our creditors,” he added. The stores began liquidation sales on March 13. 

Although the retailer did not announce it’s last day, Modell’s website states that online sales will continue during the process; Modell’s gift cards, MVP awards and returns with a receipt will be accepted through April 15; the Modell’s credit card and the Modell’s Visa card will no longer be accepted; and competitor’s coupons will no longer be honored.