A pair of related furniture stores at Liberty Crossing in Gasoline Alley have ceased operations.
The Bedroom Shoppe and The Living Room locked their doors last week after owner Russell Ventures Ltd. filed a notice of intention to make a proposal under the Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
Hudson & Company Insolvency Trustees Inc. of Calgary has been appointed receiver, and Robert Price, a vice-president with Hudson & Company, said on Tuesday that he believed the company’s assignment into bankruptcy was “imminent.” He confirmed that the process had been initiated by Russell Ventures.
In addition to the Red Deer County stores, The Bedroom Shoppe and The Living Room each operated at two locations in Calgary and one in Okotoks. They also shared an outlet store in Calgary.
Todd and Wanda Markin are partners in Russell Ventures.
A letter issued by Hudson & Company to Russell Ventures’ creditors identified approximately 50 individuals and companies that are owed a combined $3.3 million.
These include Cantrex Group Inc., a buying group owned by Sears Canada Inc., which is owed nearly $2.1 million.
Liquidation of Russell Ventures’ assets, including its store inventories, will begin on July 15, said Price. That sale might only be conducted through some of the stores, he added, but the Red Deer outlets were expected to be among these.
“How long it will last from there, I don’t know,” said Price, estimating a liquidation timeline of eight to 12 weeks.
“It will be dependent upon sales.”
The Bedroom Shoppe and The Living Room could have been marketed as going concerns, said Price, but selling their assets piecemeal was believed to be in the best interest of creditors.
“In this particular case, liquidation seems to be the best approach as far as maximizing the realization.”
The Bedroom Shoppe and The Living Room opened at Liberty Crossing in December of 2007. The stores specialized in Canadian-made furniture, with quality and durability emphasized.
The Bedroom Shoppe, which dates back to 1978, was initially a Calgary mattress store. Todd and Wanda joined as employees but soon became partners and helped start The Living Room in 1999. By 2003, they owned both stores.
Wanda Markin said on Tuesday that she would like to comment on her company’s situation but first wanted to verify that it would be appropriate to do so.
The Markins have posted a note at their Red Deer stores saying they planned to contact customers and staff, and that their top priority was filling outstanding orders and taking care of their employees.