- Arts + Culture
The Jennifer Convertibles furniture store in Porter Square is having a bankruptcy liquidation sale, according to large, blazing signs posted Tuesday in its windows.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection July 18, according to the trade publication Furniture Today, and “indicated plans to close about 40 of its 137 stores in a bid to return to profitability.”
Closing the Porter Square store, officially listed at 1 Porter Square, means losing a third significant tenant for KS Partners LLC, the management company at the Galleria.
The second-story Blockbuster video store closed in August 2009 as that company also struggled with a bad economy and changing tastes in media consumption, but that company also maintains a Cambridge presence — in Central Square.
Tenants have criticized KS Partners for rent increases and difficult lease negotiations, but the closings have been part of larger trends. Neither of the large emptied spaces have been filled, although Uno Restaurant Holdings seems to be fulfilling its lease; furniture is still piled inside and the fixtures are intact, making it seem the site is ready for another restaurant to take over and run the downstairs bar and upstairs and patio dining areas.
In addition to pulling Jennifer Convertibles out of the Boston area, Chairman and Chief Executive Harley J. Greenfield is quoted as saying the company would leave Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia as well as the entire states of Michigan, Florida and North Carolina.
The company’s website already limits customers’ search for stores to only seven states: California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Porter Square store and others on the list of those to be closed are already in the hands of another company, a liquidator called Great American Furniture Services.
Jennifer Convertibles Inc. is based in Woodbury, N.Y. Founded in 1975, it also came to operate about a dozen leather furniture stores called Jennifer Leather and a handful of Ashley Furniture HomeStores.
Looking back more than a decade, the company’s stock peaked in late 2007, just before the current recession took hold. It sank to its lowest two years later, save for the plunge it took upon news of the bankruptcy. On Tuesday shares traded at 0.01 cents.