LANSING - Four months after declaring bankruptcy, the Schaumburg-based Handy
Andy Home Improvement Centers are beginning the slow process of clearing out
and closing down its remaining Illinois stores.
At The Handy Andy Store at 16895 S. Torrence Ave. in Lansing, everything
from hardware to lawn and gardening supplies has already been marked down 10
percent, with deeper discounts continuing until everything in the store is sold.
Dick George, Handy Andy's President, confirmed the chain has sold its
inventory to a liquidator, which would slash prices to clear out remaining
goods. The Lansing store, with about $2 million in merchandise, was kept open
until now because it was one of the chain's more profitable stores.
George said the "real issue" behind the chain's closure was the loss of its
main investor, not a result of the "competitive marketplace." He added that the
presence of a Home Depot directly across the street from the Lansing Handy Andy
did not affect business.
But in a press release issued Friday by Gordon Brothers Partners, the Boston
agency overseeing the sale of Handy Andy said other stores contributed to the
failure of the 50-year-old chain.
"Competition in the home center market was heating up, while at the same
time the retail environment was cooling down," said Robert Sager, the company's
Many industry analysts agree that Handy Andy's demise is the result of a
glut of similar stores, including Home Depot, Menard's and superstores such as
When Handy Andy declared bankruptcy on Oct 12 after the Belgian company GIB
pulled its support, the chain closed 20 of its 74 stores throughout Ohio and
Michigan. But the fate of the remaining 55 stores - including 17 in Illinois -
was uncertain until Friday's announcement.
"Handy Andy continued to receive new merchandise until just recently," Sager
said. "New merchandise that has never been on sale before will be available,"
he said of the liquidated merchandise.
Consumers, of course, always have the final word in determining whether or
not a business survives.
"I was never impressed with Handy Andy because it was too expensive," said
Matt Seery, a dry cleaner from Tinley Park who was shopping at the Lansing
store Friday. "And stores like Menard's and Home Depot are much more
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