Service Merchandise Co. said it will close all of its 200 stores and eliminate half of its 1,000 corporate employees as the recession and fallout from the Sept. 11 attacks crippled the chain.
The retailer, which sells gifts, jewelry and home decor products, said its 8,300 store employees will leave the company after all merchandise is liquidated, beginning Jan. 19. That process is expected to be completed this spring and requires approval from U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Layoff of the remaining 500 corporate employees will be staggered throughout the year.
The retailer, which filed for bankruptcy protection in March 1999, said it will file a plan of liquidation by Sept. 30 to provide for the distribution of the proceeds of its assets to creditors. Service Merchandise said shareholders will not receive any compensation for their investments.