The Merrimack company, known for travel products, electronic gadgets and unusual gifts, has filed for bankruptcy protection as it seeks a buyer. According to court documents, Brookstone has between $50 and $100 million in assets, but owes between $100 and $500 million to more than 1,000 creditors. The largest is a supplier in China that is owed closed to $40 million.
Brookstone will close the company’s remaining 101 mall store locations. Court documents also show Brookstone owes more than one million in back rent to a half-dozen malls across the country. According to its website, Brookstone has stores at the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua and at the Settler's Green Outlet in North Conway. Locations in Manchester and Merrimack were previously closed by the company.
“Today we have taken several important steps to restructure the business and ensure that Brookstone will be well-positioned to succeed for years to come,” said Brookstone CEO Piau Phang Foo. “The decision to close our mall stores was difficult, but ultimately provides an opportunity to maintain our well-respected brand and award-winning products while operating with a smaller physical footprint.”
Foo says the airport, e-commerce and wholesale business divisions are operating successfully and should prove attractive to a buyer with the financial resources. The 35 stores in airports across the U.S. will remain open.
Through an agreement with Wells Fargo Bank, NA, and Gordon Brothers Finance Company, Brookstone has secured access to approximately $30 million in post-petition financing to support operations during the sale and restructuring process. The company reinforced it will pay vendors on a priority basis for goods and services ordered and received from this point forward.
Founded in 1965, Brookstone is a product developer and retailer of wellness, entertainment, and travel products.