Goody’s store closing

Published 4:19 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Goody’s Family Clothing store at Bainbridge Mall will close soon after the corporation office in Knoxville, Tenn., announced its plans to liquidate.

“We are in shock,” Leslie Venisee, manager of the Bainbridge Goody’s store, said Wednesday. “Locally, sales here have been pretty good. We had a good holiday season.”

Venisee said she told the store’s 25 employees, which is a mix of part-time and full-time workers, earlier this week and that information on plans for the closing and liquidation were forwarded to the store’s corporate office. A spokesperson for Goody’s wasn’t available for comment Wednesday afternoon.

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Goody’s is the first victim of the worsening national economy in Bainbridge’s retail community.

The 18,500-square-foot store is the one of the anchors at Bainbridge Mall; the other anchor being Belk. Goody’s opened in October 1992; however, the lackluster holiday retail market nationally forced the corporate office to announce the nationwide stores’ closings.

Goody’s, a privately held apparel retail chain that emerged from bankruptcy in October, which at the time operated 287 stores in 20 states, announced that it is in the process of obtaining bids to liquidate the company’s collateral and inventory.

In June 2008, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after cutting operating costs and closing at least 69 under-performing stores, two of them being in Tallahassee, Fla., and Albany, Ga.

Venisee said she started with the Bainbridge store, helping set it up, and rose in the ranks from cash office manager to store manager. Some employees have been with the store for a long time, and still others will join their spouses in the unemployment lines, she said.