Lechters, the Harrison, N.J.-based housewares retailer, has received final court approval for $86 million in financing. The money will allow the company to execute its strategic plan. Lechters had previously announced that it would be converting a majority of its stores to a kitchen-based concept called ThinkKitchen. Lechters voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May.
"The $86 million in financing provides us with the funding necessary to continue with our assortment and store migration process," said president and ceo David Cully, "allowing us to move ahead with implementation of our repositioning." Lechters'plan is designed to enable the company to focus its attention and resources on a new core business, while streamlining its organization and closing underperforming operations. As part of its strategy, it is migrating its brand to focus more closely on the kitchen and is upgrading its assortment with a good-better-best merchandising approach.
Lechters is expected to finish two new ThinkKitchen stores and convert four Lechters stores to the ThinkKitchen banner. The rest of the switch completed by October. Kitchen and cookware have traditionally been the core of Lechters product selection. The merchant's other product categories will be phased out over the course of this year.
Lechters currently operates 323 stores, including 239 Lechters stores and 84 Famous Brands Housewares Outlet stores, in 36 states and the District of Columbia.