Dawahare's Files for Reorganizational Protection
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LEXINGTON, Ky., May 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Citing the inability to successfully operate a total of 31 stores profitably in a down-turned economy, the century-old Dawahare's clothing chain has filed for a court-supervised reorganization plan which will involve both the closing of 9 of its existing retail units and the downsizing of its corporate support staff. Harding Dawahare, the Company's president, explained the necessary action: "As a family-owned business with deep, deep roots within many communities, we are all saddened by having to take this step. It's being done to try to preserve as many jobs as possible, in conjunction with keeping a viable retail presence in Kentucky. Traditionally, our stores have offered exceptional, stylish merchandise for every member of the family, at consistently competitive prices -- carrying forward the business our Grandfather, Serur Frank Dawahare, began with a peddler's cart full of goods a century ago. However, times have changed, dramatically, over the past l00 years. Today, we find ourselves facing competition from outlets of numerous national chain merchandisers -- these chains can often purchase goods for less than we can, yet we both sell them for the same price. As a result, in these economically trying times, although we remain competitive, our market shares have diminished, and many of our stores are no longer even marginally profitable". He continued: "It is only after careful analysis of each and every one of our stores and the corporate staff which supports them that we decided to seek reorganization protection and to close 9 units -- with the plan that other units remaining open will be profitable, and that we, as a company, will survive." Dawahare described the current retail market situation as having delivered a "double blow" to the organization: "We are experiencing intensified national chain competition across the area, within an economy where the price for a full tank of gasoline could have purchased a nice article of clothing for each person in a family of four, at any Dawahare's location," he explained. The family group of stores operates locations across the region under one of 2 names: Dawahare's, and "The Cat Bird Seat". Beginning in early June these units will begin store closing sales: Owensboro, Bowling Green, Paducah, Glasgow, Maysville, Mt. Sterling, Campbellsville and Newport Cat Bird Seat, and Bluefield, West Virginia. Those 22 stores which will remain open are: Lexington (Gardenside, Hamburg, Fayette Mall; Cat Bird Seat -- Fayette Mall), Corbin, Bardstown, Elizabethtown, Morehead, Hazard, Pikeville, Paintsville, Whitesburg, Richmond, South Williamson, Danville, Madisonville, Somerset, Middlesboro, Murray, Louisville (Jefferson Mall, and Cat Bird Seats in St. Mathews and Springhurst). Dawahare noted that "We have survived for 100 years, while most of our friends in similar businesses around the country had closed their doors years ago. It is difficult for independent retailers to survive in any economy, much less the current economy. While we were hopeful not to have to take these steps, the economics of the situation have dictated this action." Dawahare's will continue to operate the 22 ongoing stores with the same quality, fashion, prices, and service their customers expect and deserve. SOURCE Dawahare's Harding Dawahare, +1-859-514-3269, or Mary Ellen Slone, +1-859-806-3596, both for Dawahare's