Wichita to lose electronics store

Wichita is among the 46 Ultimate Electronics stores that will close as part of the Colorado retailer's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, a store employee confirmed Monday.

A female employee who declined to be identified said Wichita workers found out about the closing Saturday at the store, 1800 N. Rock Road.

"We have no idea" when the store will close, she said.

On Friday, Ultimate Electronics attorneys asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Delaware for permission to conduct store closing sales at all of the chain's 46 locations to raise money for debt service.

Citing a significant operations loss in the 11 months ending Dec. 31, a loss of vendor support in providing goods and services and a loss of liquidity, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Jan. 26 in Delaware.

In Friday's filing, attorneys for the Thornton, Colo.-based company contended that store inventories will lose value if not sold soon, since newer inventory cannot be brought in to replace it.

The company has no debtor-in-possession financing to continue to operate, the filing indicates. No time frame is given for the inventory liquidation.

Ultimate Electronics was founded in 1968 by Bill and Barb Pearse in Arvada, Colo.

Its greatest growth period came in the mid-1980s as the video electronics market mushroomed.

But the company foundered in the early 2000s, and was bought out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005 by current owner Mark Wattles, a longtime customer and the founder of Hollywood Video.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle