The phrase “all good things must come to an end” seems to apply to the appliance giant in Southern New England, let alone Connecticut. Bernie’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday, ordering the closing of all 15 of its stores — nine in Connecticut, five in Massachusetts, and one in Rhode Island. A total of 350 those employed at Bernie’s will be jobless by the end of Spring 2010. (Picture of a Bernie’s store coming soon.)
According to The Hartford Courant, the company had been “negotiating with its lender, Citizens Bank, for about the past month over about $2 million in unsecured loans.” The items on its website featured complete liquidations of items marked up to 50 percent off retail. Bernie’s suffered financial woes including competition with Best Buy, Walmart, Target, et al. All gift cards, warranties, and rebates will still be honored and all 350 of its employees will still have health coverage and be paid.
Bernie’s was founded in 1947 by Bernie Rosenberg, who sold TV’s at a single gas station in Hartford, according to the company’s website. His son, Milton, now owns the company.