Area furniture store closing all its stores

June 12, 2009 Two stores had closed, but all of the stores are expected to close later this summer, leaving employees and customers looking for help.

The signs tell the story. The company is liquidating, selling remaining merchandise at discounted prices for final sales.

"It's a shame, because they do make customer furniture and they have been a name in the area for a long time. Unfortunately, the economy has taken its toll on some of these private companies," said Debbie Walton, patron.

Plunkett Furniture, in business for 78 years, included three generations of the family. The company that was created during the Great Depression comes to an end in this recession.

A letter went out to customers explaining the situation and plans to fill existing orders. No one from the company was available to speak with ABC7, but the firm overseeing the process confirms the company is selling assets to pay creditors.

The company had seven stores, six in Illinois. Employees say they've been given notice of a layoff effective the beginning of August.

Two stores had already closed: Orland Park and River Forest. Friday, ABC7 found pieces being picked up from the River Forest store to be sold in the Hoffman Estates.

Wes Wantuch has been delivering for the company for three years.

"Hope I find a job soon," Wantuch said.

Dan Viken was grateful to get his job at Plunkett. He was laid off from a construction company earlier in the year. Now he expects to be out of work again in a few weeks.

"I'd been looking through the newspapers everyday trying to find something," said Viken, "It was nice. Now I'm back in the newspapers."

The letter from Plunkett did address warranty issues. Consumers may be able to deal with the manufacturer directly.

The concern exists for consumers -- not knowing if a company will be around. The attorney general's office recommends using a credit card for big purchases. If a company is acquired, consumers have more options. But when a company dissolves there is little recourse.

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