ABC Carpet & Home is the latest retail casualty of the pandemic, succumbing to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on late Wednesday, according to a court filing.
The iconic, family-owned retailer blamed its predicament, in large part, on its location in New York City, “which was the subject of not only more restrictive regulations than many other municipalities, but also experienced a mass exodus of current and prospective customers leaving the city,” according to the filing in federal court in Manhattan.
As The Post previously reported, ABC Carpet was especially reliant on in-store shopping, because its pricey and sometimes bulky merchandise — like furniture — does not easily lend itself to e-commerce. Its website was also a source of consternation for management, which made several attempts to improve its functionality.
ABC’s two remaining stores in the Big Apple — its flagship at 888 Broadway E. 19th St. and an outlet in Brooklyn — were burning through nearly $500,000 a week, according to the filing.
Sales were down 50 percent from their 2018 level to just $25 million in 2021, the filing revealed.
“They are just not ringing the registers enough in store for the business to be viable,” distressed debt expert Adam Stein-Sapir told The Post. “Most retail businesses cannot withstand a 50 percent drop in business and ABC is no exception.”
The company secured a $5.7 million debtor-in-possession loan from its current lender, 888 Capital Partners, which is subject to court approval.
Owner, Paulette Cole, who is the great granddaughter of the company’s founder, said in a statement: “On behalf of my father and his, I have cherished this evolving community we call ABC. I am profoundly grateful for those who walked beside me on this extraordinary journey as co-creators of the original imprint that was ABC.”
Cole lent the business $2.7 million of her own fortune to keep the business afloat, according to the filing.
The company said its operations will continue “as usual” and that it will “honor customer programs, including deposits, merchandise credits and gift cards.”