May 29, 2009, 12:00 AM

Once a leading New York area retailer, Fortunoff prepares for its final sale

The venerable home furnishings and jewelry chain faces an auction of its assets, including the Fortunoff.com domain name.

Founded in 1922 by Max and Clara Fortunoff, the New York-based retail chain that bore their name became an upscale merchant of home furnishings and jewelry. Its retail web site, Fortunoff.com, was recognized on Internet Retailer’s 2003 Best of the Web Top 50 list for its ability to bring online Fortunoff’s storied reputation as a retail destination.

But the once venerable brand is reaching its final chapter this month with a June 18 sale of its assets. The sale includes an auction that will offer information technology assets, such as the Fortunoff.com domain name and web site, along with its design and source code, its in-house customer relationship management system, the company’s intranet, and its inventory management and distribution system.

Other intellectual property up for auction include trademarks; a database of more than 750,000 customer names, many with purchase history in jewelry, home furnishings and bridal registries; proprietary jewelry designs; and branded products such as plates, cups and bowls.

Fortunoff filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early February, blaming a sales slowdown on the economic crisis. The company noted debt exceeding $100 million in its filing with the bankruptcy court. Fortunoff previously declared bankruptcy in January 2008 and was acquired in February 2008 by NRDC Equity Partners for $110 million.

Fortunoff entered liquidation in late February 2009 with the approval of a bankruptcy court judge. The product liquidators are Tiger Capital Group, SB Capital Group, Kimco Realty Services, Great American Group, Hudson Capital Partners, The Gordon Co. and Bobby Wilkerson Inc.

billb@verticalwebmedia.com

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