As a NJ bankruptcy attorney, I am interested in iconic retail business stores that filed Bankruptcy. I will continue to share these with you:
How many of you remember the retail business store “TWO GUYS”? If you grew up in the greater New York area during the 1960’s and 70’s, you probably remember the catchy radio and TV commercial where it would end with “TWO GUYS….naturally”.
The original name of the store was called “TWO GUYS FROM HARRISON” which is a reference to their start in Harrison, New Jersey. They came up with the name because their competitors were stated as saying “WE CANNOT COMPETE WITH THOSE TWO BAST**** FROM HARRISON”.
The founding brothers, Herbert and Sydney Hubschman, wanted to use that curse word for the name of their business but no newspaper would print it. They settled on “TWO GUYS FROM HARRISON”.
TWO GUYS BEGINNINGS:
The Hubschmans got their start in 1946 by operating a small concession stand out of the RCA plant in Harrison, New Jersey. RCA at the time was one of the earliest manufacturers and seller of television sets as the medium of television sets was in its infancy. While touring the plant, the Hubschmans saw a big collection of TVs that were scratched and not perfect and were returned from the retailers as unsellable. The Hubschmans worked out a deal wherein they purchased all these “misfit television sets” at a discount and sell them in a vacant lot for a $5 profit for each set. Their business advertising consisted of putting flyers on windshield of cars.
The Hubschmans figured it would take them several months to sell their inventory but instead sold their entire inventory in a few hours. Thus, the concept of selling affordable television sets was set was born.
The retail business flourished to the point wherein 1959, the company acquired O.A. Sutton Corporation, manufacturers of the Vornado line of electric fans, air conditioners and dehumidifiers. The merged company was name Vornado Inc. At its peak, there were more than 100 TWO GUYS locations nationwide, including upstate New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Maryland and Virginia.
POOR BUSINESS DECISION:
In the late 1960’s, however, TWO GUYS made a decision which would ultimately lead to their filing bankruptcy (liquidation).
In 1967, they acquired dozens of existing stores on the West Coast to not only expand their territory but also expanding their market, including but not limited to, DIY Hardware stores, liquor stores and dairy factories.
These West Coast acquisitions went sour very quickly. TWO GUYS realized you cannot bring East Coast attitudes and marketing strategies to the West Coast. You cannot expect to get the same results. From the mid to late seventies, TWO GUYS was forced to close and liquidating all of its stores and inventory.
Their bankruptcy assets were worth more than their businesses when they evaluated their potential filing of this retail store bankruptcy.
END OF TWO GUYS:
By 1982, all stores were closed and liquidated (similar to an out of court bankruptcy). The succeeding company Vornado Realty Trust leased all the former bankruptcy assets to different businesses.
This is a common scenario where a business expands so rapidly and fails to do market research. That can lead to filing bankruptcy. Their liquidation (bankruptcy) assets are worth more than their retail business bankruptcy.
It is ironic that a company’s quick success frequently leads a quicker business bankruptcy.
TWO GUYS’ Commercial:
Here is one of their commercials (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUE1tzte2RQ&feature=youtu.be
They have not totally disappeared from the face of the earth due to bankruptcy. The surviving company, Vornado, is not in bankruptcy and still exists.
We can use nostalgia as a method to learn from our mistakes to improve our future. As a bankruptcy attorney, my goal and track record has been and continues to be to move my clients into an upward financial state through bankruptcy.
I am here to help you. Call me and set up a free NJ Bankruptcy Consultation for your small business bankruptcy. Ralph A. Ferro, Jr., Esq. https://njbankruptcylawfirms.com/chapter-11-bankruptcy-new-jersey/
I will continue to provide other blogs regarding famous retail store bankruptcy. https://njbankruptcylawfirms.com/chapter-11-bankruptcy-blog/chapter-11-bankruptcy-pier-1/