Building #19 Inc., a Hingham-based chain of 10 discount stores known for quirky advertising and low prices, filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday as it seeks court permission to go out of business.
The chain seemed to have its roots in the old school retail concept of railroad salvage --- it bought up overstocked and unwanted goods such as furniture and clothing and sold them at cheap prices in no-frills venues that resembled warehouses as much as stores.
In documents filed with the US Bankruptcy Court in Boston, the chain blamed the Internet for cutting into its sales. With insufficient capital to buy new merchandise, the company told the court that the “orderly liquidation” of its inventory through store closing sales will “generate maximum value” for its remaining inventory.
In court papers, the company said that it employs 99 full-time and part-time employees at its stores, headquarters office, and warehouse. The stores are located in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
“The advent of Internet shopping has dramatically altered the retail landscape, particularly for so-called ‘big box’ stores such as are operated by the debtor,” Building #19 said in court documents.
The company is seeking permission to hire a liquidation consultant and close by Dec. 8, the Patriot Ledger reported.