Thursday, March 5, 2009

So Long, (G.I.) Joe's?

This is the worst news I've heard since they lopped off the "G.I." part.

Joe's Sports & Outdoor filed for Chapter 11 reorganization Wednesday, seeking to keep its stores and Wilsonville-based headquarters open until it's sold -- possibly within 30 days.

The Oregon retailing icon, bought by the equity firm Gryphon Investors of San Francisco in 2007, has no immediate plans for layoffs and will cover its 1,600 employees' salaries and benefits through a potential sale, said John Mangan, a Joe's spokesman.

And here's a cogent POV:

"Joe's forgot about the common guy who went in to buy a decent pair of work gloves," said Gary Livingston, a construction company owner and longtime customer. "Since it was bought, the store changed the product line, and now, everything is high end."

Livingston and others said the company -- previously known as G.I. Joe's -- has moved too far from its retailing roots. And they hate the new name.

Well, the idea was maybe to improve GIJoes right out of business anyway. Mom always said there's trouble in town when the equity firms show up.

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