February 20, 2009

The Right Start, The Sudden Finish

Sounds like the Right Start is not going to make it to the finish line. DT reader Jay files this report from California:

Just wanted to give you a heads up that Right Start retail stores are selling off their entire inventories at huge discounts right now. I just got home with a car full of swag--including a new tailored canvas set for the Cameleon and a bunch of cool wooden toys. Here's the deal:

50% off all furniture and books/cds/games/media
40% off everything else in the store except strollers and car seats
30% off strollers (stroller accessories are 40% off) and car seats
All sales final.

They are no longer accepting returns or exchanges for previously purchased items, and gift cards are no good anymore either.

The girls working there said they knew the store was in trouble. But, the way they found out they were officially out of jobs was that they received a phone call and email last night telling them that all the California stores are closing and to sell everything ASAP. Sad. Almost as sad: seeing a big pile of Tripp Trapps for a hundred bucks each, a Stokke crib for $450, and a Stokke changing table for $250, all being ignored in the corner while snatchy suburban housewives fought over the few remaining breastpumps and baby gates.

Sorry to hear about the sudden sackings, but $100 Tripp Trapps? That'd get me out of bed early on a Saturday.


Dang! I was just in a store in CT on Tuesday & the sale was 20% off most things. I'll be back there in a few days, may have to check to see if there are further developments. Or maybe it's the CA stores only?

The Radnor, PA store was stripped at 3 PM today. Staff said they'd been told they'd open until the end of March, but found out that they'd be closing on Feb. 25th instead (not that they have any more stock to sell after today).

I picked up a fully accessorized Quinney Zapp for around $110, but there was only one other stroller in the store, and a very small display of "safety" junk on one wall, along with very few toys and a similar quantity of accessories.

Almost all store fixtures had also been removed.

It's done, folks. Consider using that RS gift card for an ear bud cord wrapper. It'll bring back fond memories one day.

The Roseville, CA, store was pretty sparse as of 4pm today. But, they did still have some nice strollers for some lucky folks. They had Bug Frogs, Cameleons, and Bees, one Stokke stroller, and a new model Quinny Buzz.

Other than that, it was just like Curato said--random toys and safety stuff.

The Westside Pavillion closed it's doors as of yesterday, but the Santa Monica store is still open and is NOT having any kind of sale.

Odd. I checked out the Reston, VA store over the weekend, they were having a mid-size sale. Apparently, they're the feeder store for all the leftover inventory of the stores in the Mid-Atlantic region--Annapolis, somewhere in PA, etc--which are all closing this week.

FYI, 3 Stokke high chairs--two white, one pink--were set to arrive from Annapolis soon. Couldn't pull the trigger on those colors, even at 50% off.

Not all California stores are closing. In the SF Bay Area, only the Palo Alto and Roseville stores are closing. This is according to a woman working at the store in San Francisco

Not all Right Start Stores in California or every where are closing. Someone is giving false information. While everyone knows that Babystyle is gone, Right Start was a strong company before Babystyle and hopefully will survive.

with all due respect, Freda, Right Start has been in and out of bankruptcy for nearly a decade and has suffered mightily from big box store competition as much as bad timing, poor management and execution, and lack of capital.

And there is no "false information" here, just incomplete information, based on the anecdotal reports of individual customers and readers, which is all that's available, since Right Start management has refused to respond to multiple attempts to contact them with specific questions about the bankruptcy.

In a 2/20 filing with the bankruptcy court, Right Start obtained approval to reject ten leases, which I take to mean they will close those ten stores regardless of the outcome of the bankruptcy. Those locations are:
Westside Pavilion in LA
Costa Mesa Court, CA
The Fountains, Roseville, CA
Palo Alto, CA
Annapolis Mall, MD
Greenwich, CT
Natwick, MA
St. Davids, PA
Bellevue, WA
Partridge Creek, MI

That's on top of the stores in Naperville and Lombard IL, Sugar Land TX, Gaithersburg MD, Dulles VA, and Rancho Cucamonga they already closed. Plus three more babystyle locations in AZ and CO.

Let's just pray for those associates still in the stores that are open. Pray that they will stay or find new jobs.

Just for clarification, Right Start might have been in BK before but as usual it was another company who brought them down. In this case it was babystyle who pulled them under, of course it is the investment company Hancock Park's fault for not noticing that babystyle had a bad habit of burning through money. They went through $167 million in 11 years prior to this purchase. It is also the fault of their irresponsible management (HP) to have not forced a consolidation quickly between the two companies that would have forced them to tighten their belts. No for their bad judgement all the employees of all 3 companies had to lose their jobs and add to the growing unemployment rate. I am sure the guys at Hancock Park aren't suffering at all.....

The Right Start in Plano, TX is closing. Everything is 30% off. Store will close mid March and product not sold will be sent to another location to be sold at full retail.

Hurry in and get some great deals.

I loved this location. The staff was always so helpful and the store was beautiful. We are sorry for the employees and their families.

Good luck!

I love it when stores sell off the fixtures, they can look really cool in a regular home design.

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