Clark Appliance files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

High-end appliance retailer Clark Appliance has filed to reorganize its assets under the protection of bankruptcy and is undertaking a series of efforts to shore up operations.

Bob Clark, president of the locally based company, notified customers in a letter Friday of his decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“By now, many of you may have heard from us that we were considering this option,” he said in the letter. “Now that it is official, I wanted to take the time to explain our position a little better and thank you for your continued loyalty to Clark Appliance.”

The filing lists both assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million. The largest secured creditors, General Electric Co. and First Business Capital Corp., are each owed about $2 million.

The century-old company’s lone remaining store is at 5415 E. 82nd St. in Castleton, following the apparent closure of its Greenwood location. It also has a clearance outlet and parts center at Interstate 70 and Post Road on the east side, and a warehouse on Mount Comfort Road in Greenfield, according to its website.

Clark Appliance began experiencing financial troubles in 2008 during the recession but recently suffered more setbacks: the flooding of its former Greenwood store that wiped out its inventory; and a bank’s decision in June to call a loan, Clark said in the letter.

The company is working to finalize an investor relationship to help meet ongoing capital needs and has tightened operations by cutting staff and consolidating operations at its Castleton location.

“After all this, many people might expect us to just fold up shop and walk away,” Clark said in the letter. “But I’m here to tell you now; we have no intention of doing that.”

In a statement released to IBJ, Clark reiterated many elements of the customer letter, saying Clark intended to focus "on our main business—high-end retail and builder/remodeler appliance supply."

His grandfather, Revere Jacobs, started the business with a single store in 1913 that sold washing machines.

Clark and his wife, Cindy, bought out his parents’ stake in 1986.

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