Robb & Stucky In Chapter 11

And yet another company files bankruptcy. Robb & Stucky, a 96-year-old furnishings and interior design company, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and also plans to lay off 178 employees at its Fort Myers, FL corporate headquarters.

According to the filing, which occurred Feb. 18 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa, Robb & Stucky will seek a sale of the company.

Dan Lubner, Robb & Stucky’s president of the Hospitality Design division, says company revenue for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, was $139.7 million, down nearly 50% from the peak revenue of $273.7 million for the fiscal year ended in June 2006. The down housing market played a major role in the company’s misfortune, he says.

A little more than three years ago, the company launched a print catalog and its current status is unclear.

Chris Kampe, managing director for investment bank Tully & Holland, says the company sells big-ticket, outdoor furniture in many markets that have been hardest hit by the real estate bust, such as Florida, Las Vegas, and Arizona.” It didn’t help that the company recently expanded in those states.

“This is a very difficult business in which customers don’t buy during a recession, compounded by depression like conditions in Florida, Las Vegas, and Arizona,” he says.

Lubner says this process that could result in a sale might only take three or four weeks. “We are currently talking to several people,” he says.

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