"Linens N Things" Files For Bankruptcy

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Another Reno retail store in Reno is closing its doors. This time, it's "Linens N Things" on South Virginia Street near Neil Road. A spokesperson for the kitchen and bath store says the economy is to blame.

A spokesperson from the chain's corporate office says the company filed for bankruptcy protection on May 2nd. 120 of their 589 stores across the country are closing.

They say the credit crunch and a weak economy are what did them in.The Virginia Street store had only been open for three years.

"It kind of surprised us. It seemed it was only here maybe a few years. We saw them building all these stores. It was recent," said Terry Lewczyk of Reno.

Terry and her husband, Stan say while the store wasn't in Reno very long, the closure makes perfect sense.

"We have cut back on our shopping based on the economy. Prices have gone up and we're on a fixed income so we try to hold off and buy things as we need them," said Stan.

Economists say the housing slump not only effects home sales, but also the business of products used to decorate and accompany the home. The Lewczyk's say they've cut back on their purchases by spending money only on what they need, instead of want.

"Maybe once or twice a year. See, maybe that's why they're closing. If everyone is like me," said Terry.

A store employee tells us the company will sell its products at discounts from 10 to 25 percent off, until their stock is emptied out. He didn't know how long it would take for the store to close completely, or whether the sale prices will dip lower.

The Lewcyzk's came out of the store empty-handed.

"I'm always looking for a good bargain, but I don't think ten percent off is a good bargain," said Terry.

Store management couldn't comment on whether he knew the closure was coming, but said their store is no different than any other struggling business in today's economy. Krispy Kreme Donuts was one of the first businesses to close it's doors recently in Reno... and there may be more to come.

A company spokesperson says the corporate office did an extensive evaluation of stores across the country to decide which ones should close and which should stay open. They say Reno's store was chosen because it was one of the weakest moneymakers in the bunch.

These type of closures may have a bigger effect on us than you think. Almost 80 percent of the Washoe County general fund budget comes from sales tax revenue. When stores close, that fund gets smaller. In the past 18 months, that fund has steadily declined. County leaders estimate a 23-million-dollar shortfall for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.