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Hancock to close all stores

Hancock Fabrics is closing all of its 255 stores, including its Rochester location at 1201 S. Broadway Ave.

Baldwyn, Miss.-based Hancock Fabrics Inc. has gone into an asset-liquidation phase. Hancock Fabrics spokeswoman Brenda Adrian said the company voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 2 to reorganize the business.

In a statement from the bankruptcy filing, Hancock Fabrics President Steve Morgan said he believed filing for bankruptcy was a positive step for the future of the company.

However, last week, the company was part of an asset sale auction, which was closed to the public. The top bidder for Hancock Fabrics' assets was Los Angeles-based asset disposition company Great American Group.

In a statement, Scott Carpenter, president of Great American's Retail Solutions division, said consumers visiting a Hancock Fabrics store will see discounts on merchandise until it is completely sold.

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"We expect the going-out-of-business sales to last several weeks before all of the merchandise is sold in the remaining locations," Carpenter said.

An answering machine message at Rochester's Hancock store says a "going-out-of business sale" is being held there.

Great American Group began the asset sale for Hancock's 255 locations on Friday. Adrian said Great American Group helped Hancock Fabrics during its initial filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, including assuming responsibilities for 70 of its stores.

"The owners (of Hancock Fabrics) had hoped to get a buyer to buy the stores and continue them," Adrian said.

Hancock Fabrics carries a range of fabric, sewing and crafts products, including home decor textiles, accessories, needlecraft supplies and sewing machines. The going-out-of-business sale will include select furniture, fixtures and equipment at the stores.

"Our team has worked closely with Hancock Fabrics in a range of capacities over the years," Scott Carpenter, president of Great American's Retail Solutions division, said in a statement.

Great American will determine which of Hancock Fabrics' nearly 4,500 employees will remain to assist with the sale and store closures. If Great American decides not to use any Hancock Fabrics employees, it must give Hancock Fabrics a seven-day notice.

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