Storehouse Sale Pending

Specialty home furnishings cataloger/retailer Storehouse announced last week it is looking for a new strategic partner after its parent company, Rowe Cos., filed for bankruptcy. The filing, along with filings by its two operating units — Rowe Furniture and Storehouse — will allow Rowe to sell Storehouse, while completing its restructuring plans.

Acquired by Rowe Cos. in 1999, Atlanta-based Storehouse includes more than 70 stores in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and Texas, a catalog, and a Website. The 37-year-old chain sells furniture, accessories, lighting, and rugs, targeting affluent markets. Storehouse had sales of $151.8 million in its most recent fiscal year, ended in November 2005.

Storehouse president Caroline Hipple, who could not be reached for comment, said in a statement: “We anticipate spirited bidding at the upcoming auction and expect to announce a sale by Oct. 6. We look forward to an exciting future with a new strategic partner.”

McLean, VA-based Rowe Cos. is one of the largest U.S. upholstery manufacturers. Combined with Storehouse, Rowe Cos.’ total sales for fiscal 2005 were $299.4 million. According to a company statement, Rowe Cos. filed for bankruptcy due to declining sales, import competition, and lingering computer problems from a faulty enterprise resource planning system.

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