Montgomery Ward to Close 48 Underperforming Stores; Decision Focuses Turnaround Strategy on Core Group of Best Performing Stores
CHICAGO, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Montgomery Ward & Co., Incorporated announced today that it has identified 48 underperforming store locations for closure as part of the retailer's strategy for returning to profitability. These store locations were identified after a store-by-store analysis of the Company's operations, and are geographically dispersed throughout the national chain. These stores are in addition to the eight store closings previously announced this year. The plan, which is subject to bankruptcy court approval, includes an exit from the Orlando, Fla. and Albany, N.Y. markets leaving Montgomery Ward with a core of 294 full line department stores. "In addition to not being focused on a core retail strategy, Wards suffered from having a number of outdated and otherwise underperforming locations and as such we have moved quickly to identify these stores and take the appropriate action, said Roger Goddu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer." "We believe that we can operate each of our remaining stores profitably through merchandise revitalization and a combination of margin enhancement, operational improvements and expense structure adjustments, including lease renegotiations. However, in the ongoing stores, we will continue to closely monitor and evaluate Wards' performance on a store-by- store basis to ensure that every Wards location is providing measurable benefit to the Company overall." "We are beginning to see the positive impact of our new merchandising strategy and the operational improvements we have put in place. When put together with the closure of our underperforming stores, we will have addressed several of the major areas that contributed to Montgomery Ward's decline," added Goddu. "Now our focus is on the proper execution of our strategy and dramatic improvement in addressing our core customers' needs as we work to restore Wards reputation in the marketplace." The proposed restructuring would impact approximately 3,800 full and part- time associates. Montgomery Ward will offer reassignment in other Montgomery Ward stores to as many associates as possible. Those who are not offered or do not accept reassignment will be offered location shutdown benefits and outplacement assistance as appropriate. The store closings are subject to court approval, and are expected to be substantially completed by the end of December 1997. Wards has already announced the closing of 44 Lechmere and Electric Avenue & More specialty stores earlier this year in addition to the eight Montgomery Ward stores previously mentioned. "The decision to close stores is never an easy one and we recognize the impact this has on the associates involved and on our customers. However, we believe that moving swiftly to eliminate the source of a significant amount of Wards' losses and taking the related financial charges in fiscal 1997 will enable us to focus solely on the future growth of the business and our turnaround initiatives going forward," added Burnett Donoho, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Montgomery Ward. "We hope that many of our associates and customers can be accommodated in nearby Wards' locations. We want to assure any affected customers that we will continue to honor Montgomery Ward warranties and extended warranties through our product service centers as well as our remaining retail locations. Our goal is to make sure that every Wards' customer continues to be satisfied." Customers who have warranties or extended warranties may call the toll-free service number 1-800-905-9505 to obtain information on the nearest location for merchandise repairs. Depending on the type of warranty in place, Montgomery Ward will either send a repair person to the customer's home or provide the customer with the ability to drop off the item needing repair at the nearest Montgomery Ward store or another convenient location. Automotive service packages will be honored at any Montgomery Ward Auto Express location. Montgomery Ward is one of the largest privately held retailers in the United States. Upon the completion of its announced store closings, Montgomery Ward will operate 294 full line stores in 37 states. (see list below) Montgomery Ward Stores To Close YEAR TOTAL TOTAL STORE STATE OPENED ADDRESS SQ. FT. ASSOCIATES Huntsville AL 1959 Parkway City S/C, 76,100 72 2721 Memorial Parkway Glendale AZ 1973 Valley West Mall, 16,000 9 (Auto Express) 5849 W. Northern Ave. Glendale AZ 1973 Valley West Mall, 111,400 21 5849 W. Northern Ave. Hawthorne CA 1977 12000 Hawthorne Blvd. 155,900 113 Long Beach CA 1982 591 Long Beach Blvd. 121,000 101 Oceanside CA 1987 2505 Vista Way 52,700 43 Victorville CA 1990 12400 Amargosa Road 91,900 92 Englewood CO 1987 Cinderellla City S/C, 120,400 48 701 W. Hampton Ave. Fort Collins CO 1963 Century 21 S/C, 66,100 69 2201 S. College Avenue Altamonte FL 1986 130 E. Altamonte Drive 169,700 95 Springs Orlando FL 1991 7531 S. Orange Blossom Tr. 93,500 104 Orlando FL 1986 2500 W. Colonial Drive 237,800 115 St. Petersburg FL 1959 101 34th Street N. 13,200 8 (Auto Express) Tampa FL 1976 Eastlake Sq. Mall, 157,700 94 5701 E. Hillsborough Ave. Lansing IL 1991 16771 Torrence Ave. 101,300 110 Mount Prospect IL 1962 Randhurst Mall, 225,700 124 999 Elmhurst Road Naperville IL 1992 404 S. Route 59 111,700 97 Normal IL 1980 College Hills Mall, 88,800 61 301 S. Veteran Pkwy. Waukegan IL 1988 221 Lakehurst Road 123,400 96 Indianapolis IN 1990 6020 82 St. 95,300 88 (Castleton) Indianapolis IN 1988 Lafayette Square, 144,300 107 (Lafayette Square) 3919 Lafayette Road Indianapolis IN 1988 Washington Sq. Mall, 136,600 96 (Wash. Square) 10202 E. Washington St. Lanham MD 1992 9361 Annapolis Road 26,400 11 Detroit MI 1994 21500 Northwestern Hwy, BC-2 125,200 112 (Northland) Harper Woods MI 1993 Eastland Square S/C, 111,300 123 (Eastland) 18000 Vernier Rd. Sterling Heights MI 1989 44925 Schoenherr Road 107,600 79 Minneapolis MN 1993 600 Nicolett Mall 111,500 78 Robbinsdale MN 1966 3535 W. Broadway 185,900 86 St. Louis Park MN 1979 Knollwood Plaza, 133,700 80 3620 Texas Avenue S. Kansas City MO 1991 Benjamin Plaza, 121,600 96 8844 Hillcrest Road Omaha NE 1967 707 N. 102 Street 148,300 108 Bedford NH 1977 Bedford Mall, 83,900 70 South River Road Nashua NH 1972 Nashua Mall, 150 Coliseum Rd. 95,800 87 Newington NH 1973 Newington Plaza, 95,100 61 Spaulding Tpke. & Gosling Santa Fe NM 1970 600 N. Guadelupe 58,500 56 Colonie NY 1979 Northway Mall, 160,400 110 1440 Central Ave. Ithaca NY 1976 Pyramid Mall, 95,800 71 50 Catherwood Road Plattsburgh NY 1975 Champlain Center S., 75,600 81 459 Rte. 3-009 Rome NY 1963 Mohawk Acres S/C, 84,100 76 1790 Black River Blvd. Saratoga Springs NY 1976 Saratoga Mall, 97,700 85 Route 50 & Weibel Ave. Schenectady NY 1970 Mohawk Mall, 165,100 105 420 Balltown Road Dallas TX 1961 800 Wynnewood Village 161,800 97 Dallas TX 1966 100 Northtown Mall 137,300 88 Dallas TX 1978 Prestonwood Mall, 14,600 11 (Auto Express) 5402 Arapalo Road Irving TX 1986 Plymouth Park S/C, 72,700 73 2802 W. Irving Park Blvd. Lynchburg VA 1990 River Ridge Mall, 109,000 85 3405 Candlers Mountain Rd. Portsmouth VA 1973 Tower Mall, 16,000 12 (Auto Express) 4000 Victory Blvd. Rutland VT 1974 Rutland Mall, Woodstock Ave. 61,200 76 Total Stores = 48
SOURCE Montgomery Ward & Co., Incorporated
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