Linens ‘n Things To Liquidate Remaining Stores

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The remaining Linens ‘n Things stores will likely start liquidation sales as early as Thursday after the home goods retailer failed to find a buyer that will operate the company as a going concern.

A group of liquidators, including Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources, had made a preliminary offer for Linens ‘n Things and the bankruptcy court had planned to hold an auction for other interested bidders on Tuesday. But no buyers submitted a qualified bid and the auction was canceled, according to court documents filed late on Monday.

The company was under pressure from its creditors to speed up closing its remaining 371 stores, according to documents filed in the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware.

In May, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it would shutter 120 underperforming stores.

As of Dec. 31, the company was one of the largest purchasers of home furnishings in the United States, employed some 17,500 people and had a vendor base of about 1,000 suppliers, according to court documents. But the sharp decline in the housing market and a slump in consumer discretionary spending undermined the company’s ability to pay its suppliers.

The group of liquidators that will oversee the closing sales include Gordon Brothers, Hilco, Great American Group LLC, Hudson Capital Partners LLC, SB Capital Group LLC and Tiger Capital Group LLC.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (BBBY.O), the company’s main competitor, closed at $27.70 on Monday. (Reporting by Chelsea Emery, editing by Dave Zimmerman)