Zoots customers seize a likely last chance, line up to rescue items at bankrupt chain

Customers of Zoots, a bankrupt dry cleaner, line up Friday in Porter Square to get their clothes back after the chain closed without warning Jan. 19. (Photo: Marc Levy)

The line of customers was 50 deep Friday outside Zoots, a bankrupt dry cleaner, for what could be the last chance to get their clothing before the doors sealed forever at the 9 White St. branch. Although there has been interest expressed in acquiring the company’s assets, the 17-store chain based in Brockton has filed under Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, which means it is not reorganizing with plans to reopen.

The stores were opening for today only, through 4 p.m., to get items back to customers – for money, if the items had been cleaned, even though customers were reporting that workers weren’t able to make change. Some items hadn’t been cleaned.

The chain has less than $50,000 in assets and as much as $10 million in liabilities, the Boston Herald reported. The state Attorney General’s Office said it was handling many employee complaints about pay as well.

Even before the bankruptcy, the chain hadn’t endeared itself to customers. Cambridge’s location drew two out of five stars from Yelp reviews, with some calling its work “Highway robbery!! They are no better than thieves” and “so bad it’s scary.”

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