Thursday, July 12, 2001

HomeLife Furniture
closes down ‘temporarily’

The chain has two isle outlets

Associated Press

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. >> HomeLife Furniture Corp., the eighth-largest U.S. furniture retailer, abruptly shut down operations yesterday due to financial difficulties.

After closing its 130 stores and posting a terse notice on its Web site, the company issued a statement hours later describing the closure as temporary and saying it was negotiating with lenders in hopes of obtaining additional financing.

The privately held company, formerly owned by Sears, Roebuck and Co., operates stores in 26 states.

Its financing problems had caused some furniture manufacturers to stop shipments to HomeLife this spring and summer because of unpaid bills.

In Hawaii, homelife has a store in Pearl City, and a location inside Sears at Ala Moana Center. Local officials could not be reached yesterday.

Customer calls were referred to a toll-free national number, which was answered with a recording.

"Our stores have been closed temporarily due to the financial difficulties being experienced by the company," said the statement issued by HomeLife, which is still based in Sears' headquarters town of Hoffman Estates. "We currently do not have firm dates established for business reopening. At this moment, the company is in negotiations with its senior lenders and other stakeholders regarding possible financing options."

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