LEE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the shareholders of The Fitzpatrick Companies, Inc. have approved the decision to commence an orderly liquidation of its companies and subsidiaries, which include Country Curtains, Inc., and the Housatonic Curtain Company, Inc. This vote follows a multi-year effort to either improve operations or identify a buyer; when neither proved successful, the Board of Directors recommended in September that the company pursue an orderly closure.
In approving an orderly dissolution, Country Curtains is able to preserve value for all of its shareholders, including current and former employees who participate in the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). ESOP participants have a direct financial stake in the share value of the company.
"This has been a heartbreaking decision, but in sharing the background and facts with our shareholders, it was clear that the changing retail environment made it increasingly difficult for a small, independent company to compete and meet customer expectations on price, product delivery and product mix," said Celia Clancy, CEO of Country Curtains. "Though this was a difficult decision for all shareholders – including current employees – by proactively addressing these challenges, we can support an orderly transition for everyone involved."
Country Curtains will begin liquidating operations effective immediately. A consumer facing going out of business sale will launch on October 5, 2017 and include products sold on its website countrycurtains.com and in all 19 Retail locations. Sale of its major physical assets (including several properties) will also occur. The bulk of company operations are expected to end by December 31, 2017.
Most employees will maintain a role in the company for the next two months, supporting the liquidation process. Eligible employees will be offered severance packages and other transition support. The company has pledged to support employees in identifying new opportunities within the Berkshires.
"I wish you could all know how our board and senior leadership worked for a different ending," Nancy Fitzpatrick stated. "Still, we had nearly 60 years of splendid success thanks to every one of our employees, but most importantly, to our loyal customers. It has been a real honor to know you and be part of Country Curtains."