EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 7, 2013

Vacancy at Haverhill plaza coming Dec. 8

Building #19 announces closing date

By Shawn Regan

---- — HAVERHILL — The owners of Building #19 at Riversedge plaza have set Dec. 8 as the store’s closing date.

Earlier this week, the owners of the 50-year-old company said it will be closing stores in Haverhill, Burlington, Hanover, Natick, New Bedford, Norwood and Weymouth, Manchester, N.H., and Cranston and Pawtucket, R.I.

The company cited “a variety of market forces including deep recession, increased competition and pressure on gross margins” as the reasons it is going out of business. The discount chain has filed for bankruptcy.

The Dec. 8 closing gives city leaders little time to find a replacement business to take over the large Building #19 space before it becomes vacant. The mayor’s office said Haverhill’s prime concern is filling the space and replacing lost jobs.

A liquidation sale began yesterday and will continue up to the store’s closing, the Hingham-based company said in a press release.

Gordon Brothers Group — a global advisory, restructuring and investment firm that specializes in the retail, consumer products and real estate — will oversee the store-closing sales on the company’s behalf, according to the press release.

The chain has about $2.3 million in inventory, all of which is being discounted up to 40 percent, the release said.

“Regardless of recent business challenges, providing ‘good stuff cheap’ and customer satisfaction has been and will continue to be Building #19’s hallmark,” said Gerry Elovitz, founder of Building #19.

Notable merchandise sold by the company in the past has included windows from Boston’s John Hancock Tower, artificial turf from the New England Patriots Gillette Stadium and unassembled World War II motorcycles.

“This iconic New England retailer is already known for its bargain pricing and we encourage customers to visit Building #19 stores to find even greater discounts while the selection lasts,” said Tim Shilling, managing director for Gordon Brothers Group’s retail division.

Riversedge Plaza is also home to Market Basket, Family Dollar, Radio Shack, Olympia Sports, Aubuchon Hardware and several other businesses and small restaurants. The plaza is between Trinity Stadium and the Groveland Bridge.

City officials said they are working on a plan to fill the space in the plaza occupied by Building #19 as quickly as possible.

“Our primary concern is to fill that space and replace those lost jobs as fast as possible,” David Van Dam, Mayor James Fiorentini’s aide, said of the store’s closing.