UPDATE: Long lines seek American liquidation 'bargains'

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UPDATED Friday, February 21, 2014 --- 7:37 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Scores of bargain hunters have descended on American TV & Appliance stores looking for a closeout deal.

They lined up outside stores in Madison, Brown Deer and elsewhere Thursday as the 60-year-old retailer began liquidating its merchandise as it prepares to close for good. Nearly 1,000 employees in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa will lose their jobs when doors close sometime late in April.

Customer vehicles filled the parking lot well before the Madison store opened Thursday. The Madison-based company is closing its 11 stores, a warehouse and distribution center.

American CEO Douglas Reuhl has blamed an "unforgiving economy" for the chain's deepening financial troubles over the last five years.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED February 19, 2014-- 5:15 p.m.

"I've shopped here a lot and it's going to be a great loss to the city," said shopper, Lisa.

After 60 year, American TV and Appliance stores are closing their doors.

"I've been a customer of American for about 25 years, and it's been a great store," said shopper, Ron Wingate.

As the shock wears off, the sales are on.

"I thought this would be a good deal on a TV," said Wingate.

Going out of business sale, everything must go-- It's a savers dream.

"If you get a good deal you might as well grab the deal," said

But are you reading the fine print?

"It's basically buyer beware," said Wisconsin's trade and consumer protection division administrator, Sandy Chalmers.

Three main pieces of advice from the state's trade and consumer protection division before splurging on the sales.

1) Be aware of special terms and conditions.

"For instance, if returns are accepted or exchanged before you spend any money there," said Chalmers. "If the item is being sold 'as is,' that needs to be disclosed before the item is purchased... They may have one policy for electronics items and a separate one for furniture, so it's really ht consumers responsibility to ask questions about any rules that apply to this sale."

2) When you do buy, get everything in writing.

"It's important you have the name of the manufacturer or any information that pertains to a warranty or an extended warranty so you know who to call if you have a problem," said Chalmers.

3) Paying with a credit card offers you protection.

"There may not be anybody at the consumer service line to talk to if you have a problem with whatever it was you purchased," said Chalmers. "If there is a problem, you can dispute the charge later with your credit card company."

It's up to each business to determine their own policies, but once they put them out there, Wisconsin's trade and consumer protection division said they have to honor the promises they make to consumers.

American TV stores are closed Wednesday as they mark down those deals. Their "going out of business sale" begins at 9 a.m. Thursday and runs through the weekend.

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UPDATED Monday, February 17, 2014 --- 12:41 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin-based furniture, appliance and electronic retail chain with stores in two other states is going out of business.

American TV & Appliance of Madison, Inc. says that after 60 years in business, the company will close it's 11 locations, terminating the jobs of nearly 1,000 people. The locations include two stores each in Illinois and Iowa and five stores, corporate offices and distribution center in Wisconsin.

American says it will close its door after it completes a liquidation sale beginning Feb. 20. American CEO Doug Reuhl says although it's a "sad moment," it's also time to recognize dedicated employees and loyal customers.

Reuhl says American's 989 employees have been notified and will remain employed through the closing process. American is filing Chapter 128 receivership to protect its creditors.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, February 17, 2014 --- 11:21 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Madison-based furniture, appliance and electronic retailer American is going out of business. The closure of its 11 locations affects nearly 1,000 employees.

American says that after 60 years in business, the company will close after it completes a liquidation sale beginning Feb. 20. American CEO Doug Reuhl says although it's a "sad moment," it's also time to recognize dedicated employees and loyal customers.

Reuhl says American's 989 employees have been notified and will remain employed through the closing process.

American is filing Chapter 128 receivership to protect its creditors.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Monday, February 17, 2014 --- 10:38 a.m.

TV and furniture retailer American is going out of business.

In a release, the company says it has notified 989 employees at 11 locations of the closure.

Going-out-of-business sales will begin on Thursday, February 20th at all stores to liquidate American's entire inventory.

The company says the last five years have been very difficult for the industry, and the economy has been unforgiving.

“While this is a sad moment it is also a proud moment. It’s a moment to be proud of our efforts and to be proud of what we have delivered to the community”, Doug Reuhl, President and CEO of American, is quoted in the release. “Words cannot adequately express how grateful we are to our millions of loyal customers, and to the incredible, dedicated family of employees that we have been blessed with over our 60 years of business”.

American also released the following information about the going-out-of-business sale:

--American will honor gift cards during the store-closing sale and provide refunds to customers who do not wish to redeem them.
--All extended warranty policies that customers purchased are valid and insured through a third-party insurance company.
--Customers who have open orders waiting for delivery will either receive delivery of their goods or a refund of their deposit.
--All products in the service center will be repaired or returned to the customer prior to closing.


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