Friday, January 4, 2008

Shop Local

More signs of the times. Below is a clip from WaPo earlier this week about Scan, the furniture chain, with a longtime store in Columbia, planning to liquidate. And here's a note from Produce Galore in Wilde Lake, bemoaning the loss of Bun Penny.

Like many, I was stunned last week to hear that Bun Penny is closing. White it is true that they are our competitor, I feel a sadness for several reasons.

Firstly, as the co-owner of a small retail business, I know the hard work involved. Years of working seven days a week aren't easy on the body, on the mind, and on the family.

In the bigger picture, the closing of one more small business in this community puts Columbia a little closer to being just another anonymous American city. To me, it is the small, unique stores that help make one city different from another.

Finally, recognizing the value of keeping our community unique, what can Produce Galore do to encourage customers to "shop local"?


She says you can e-mail your suggestions or comments to

Here's the Scan news:

Scan International, a Rockville-based seller of contemporary Scandinavian furniture, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week and outlined plans to close.

In papers filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore, Scan blamed its troubles on "the decline in the housing market and the loss of business as a result of other furniture retailers ceasing operations and liquidating inventories at deep discounts."

The 47-year-old company, which operates five stores in Virginia and Maryland, will sell its inventory, said Stephen F. Fruin, a lawyer for Scan. He added: "The company does not plan to remain in business after this is over," but is keeping its options open.

Scan International began in 1960 as part of the Greenbelt Cooperative, which grew into the largest nonprofit co-op on the East Coast but fell into financial disarray after a 10-month employee strike. The co-op went into bankruptcy in 1988 and in 1989, Scan was formed from the co-op's furniture arm and taken private.

Scan's revenue for the year was down to $17.5 million from $25 million in 2005, according to court documents.

The company has proposed hiring Texas-based American Recovery Group to conduct a "going out of business sale," Fruin said. If the court approves American Recovery as a liquidator during a hearing set for Thursday, then Scan will begin a 60-day liquidation sale. The company will pay employees salary and benefits throughout the process, Fruin said.

-- Alejandro Lazo

1 comment:

Ann said...

Yeah I was sorry to hear that too. But I am not surprised. Ken Ulman and the county seems to be working to destroy the character of Columbia and making it look like any other suburban sprawl community. He seems to trust developers like GGP and that Wegmans developer more than residents. I was at the meeting Thursday night for the Wegmans and Ulman's planning staff looked like they were hoping to get the big-box store approved no matter what. If it wasn't for residents complaining about mistakes in the traffic study and the developers failure to get a variance, Ulman, the planning board and their staff would have allowed them to approve the store with all sorts of violations of zoning law. It was incredible. And we wonder why small businesses are leaving, they dont have politicians, like Ulman helping them cut corners. I wish these guys would put residents safety first and not their own pockets!