Linens ‘n Things to close local stores

Home furnishings specialty retailer Linens ‘n Things is pulling out of the Capital Region as it seek
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Home furnishings specialty retailer Linens ‘n Things is pulling out of the Capital Region as it seeks protection in a Delaware bankruptcy court from the housing slump and pennywise consumers.

The Clifton, N.J.-based retailer announced Friday it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. It also said it will close 120 under-performing stores, including locations at The Crossing in Clifton Park and Northway Mall in Colonie.

The company did not say when the stores would close.

The closings come about eight years after Linens ‘n Things entered the Capital Region’s home furnishings market, initially with the Colonie store. As of Dec. 29, the retailer had 589 stores in 47 states and seven Canadian provinces.

“The decision to close stores was difficult but necessary to improve [the company’s] financial position and place the company on a firmer financial footing as we move forward,” said Robert DiNicola, the company’s executive chairman.

Linens ‘n Things’ woes have been escalating in recent years. It ended last year with a net loss of $242 million, compared to losses of $107 million in 2006 and $48 million in 2005. Total sales inched up 0.6 percent during the fourth quarter that ended Dec. 29, but sales were down 1 percent on a same-store basis.

The retailer said it has received $700,000 in financing from General Electric Capital Corp. to keep its remaining stores open and stocked.

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