HIT OR MISS LIQUIDATES

Byline: Vicki M. Young

NEW YORK — Hit or Miss is closing up shop.
The retail chain received bankruptcy court approval earlier this month to hire a liquidator to conduct going-out-of-business sales at all 134 store sites. The identity of the firm selected to conduct GOB sales could not be learned at press time. GOB sales have already started at stores in Rhode Island. GOB sales generally take about two months to complete.
Once a retail powerhouse in the Seventies and Eighties, the off-pricer had as many as 575 stores by the early Nineties. However, tightening of credit lines led to difficulties in getting merchandise. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in November 2000. At the time, Donna Moore, president and chief executive officer, said the filing was necessary because the retailer needed time to “reevaluate” its real estate portfolio, as well as time to carry out its restructuring strategy.
Industry observers at one point thought Hit or Miss would have been forced to shutter it doors sooner. Formerly part of Zayre Corp. and later The TJX Cos., the chain was spun off from TJX in a management-led buyout in October 1995. The privately held chain suffered a credit crunch in the late Nineties. In 1998, Hit or Miss was to have merged with the now-defunct Gantos, which was suffering through its own credit crisis. That deal fell through and in January 1999, Hit or Miss received a reprieve when it was acquired by Turkey’s Kombassan Holding AS.
The investment by the Turkish conglomerate was Kombassan’s first foray into U.S. retailing. Since the purchase, most of the merchandise sold at the off-pricer was shipped in from Turkey, sources told WWD.
Executives at the Stoughton, Mass.-based chain and at Paragon Capital, which provided the retail chain with its debtor-in-possession financing facility, weren’t available for comment Wednesday.
Hit or Miss operated primarily in strip malls.