COVID closure forces Old Time Pottery into bankruptcy

Jun 30, 2020 at 09:38 am by Michelle Willard

Old Time Pottery

Old Time Pottery announced via press release that it has filed for bankruptcy protection and will be closing some stores because of the global pandemic.  

"Prior to COVID-19, Old Time Pottery was growing profitability at a near-record pace. When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, the company experienced a sudden and precipitous decline in sales that lasted for six weeks with mandates to close numerous store locations in accordance with state and local government regulations," the company said in a news release.

Like so many other businesses, OTP has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shoppers weren't around to buy discount Christmas decorations in May, which heavily impacted the bottom line.

According to the press release, OTP will close four stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois and Florida. Because it's based in Murfreesboro, hopefully the local store will stay open for the foreseeable future. 

"The filing was due to the unique, catastrophic event of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted almost all retail businesses and resulted in over 40 million individuals filing for unemployment," the release said.

This isn't the first time OTP has faced bankruptcy. During the Great Recession back in 2009, it filed for Chapter 11 protection after losing a line of credit, which was compounded by declining sales. This was followed by the closing of stores, leaving 30 total, and a reorganization that left the company in a better position. OTP grew to 43 stores in 11 states in the intervening decade. 

But no one expected a global pandemic.

The news about OTP isn't surprising following announcements from Bath & Body Works, Signet Jewelers, Gap, Victoria's Secret, Zara, Chico's. JCPenney, Macy's, Express, Nordstrom, Forever 21, New York & Co., GameStop, Logan's Roadhouse and a host of other national names to expect closures in the near future.

OTP joins national chain Pier 1 Imports, which announced it was seeking court approval to close all of its stores. The retailer filed for Chapter 11 protection back in February, and then we were all forced to stay home. 

At the local level, Uncle Bud's announced via Facebook that it is closing its Murfreesboro location.

"It has been a tough three or four months for all of us. We have struggled with a limited capacity dining room and staffing during this crisis. We haven't been able to operate at the level we all expect here at Uncle Bud's," the post said.

The post suggested Uncle Bud's Donelson location at 2719 Old Lebanon Rd. for catfish and fixins.

It seems like we'll have a lot of empty storefronts soon.


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