Tuesday, August 29, 2023

[CLOSURE ALERT] Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Abruptly Shutters Stores and Factory

In a move that caught many in the industry off guard, upscale furniture store Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams abruptly shuttered its stores and a North Carolina upholstery manufacturing facility, putting its nearly 1,000 employees out of work.  

The closure, which reportedly occurred as of August 26, includes the company's 27 "signature" stores, 38 "virtual" stores, 6 outlets, and its manufacturing facility in Taylorsville, North Carolina.  As of this month, the company operated one physical store in Atlanta, a "signature" store at the corner of East Paces Ferry and Peachtree Roads in the heart of Buckhead.  

ToNeTo Atlanta visited the Buckhead store Tuesday afternoon and found the store closed and locked but full of merchandise as if it could reopen immediately.  According to the company's website, the Buckhead store -  3081 Peachtree Road - is 7,500 square feet and opened in 2005.  

Gold and Williams, who met in New York, formed Mitchell Gold in 1989. Gold, a former furniture buyer at Bloomingdale’s, was the frontman, with Williams, a graphic artist, designing the line.  The duo were both personal and professional partners.   The company made private-label linen sofas and velvet headboards for Restoration Hardware (now RH), Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn, among others. 

In 1998, they sold the company to Rowe Furniture in a deal that allowed them to keep managing the business.  Gold and Williams’s personal relationship ended in 2001, but they remained business partners and “best friends forever.”  In 2002, they bought the firm back with a group of New York investors, and the company was renamed Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams. 

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has been owned since 2015 by The Stephens Group, a family-run private equity firm based in Little Rock with a portfolio that currently includes mostly tech and industrial holdings.  According to The Stephens Group website, the firm's investments have included Atlanta's BrandBank, Viking Range and Conn's, an appliance and home electronics retailer that recently entered the Atlanta market, among others.  The firm also indicates it "took Walmart public" in 1970.   

In addition to the Buckhead store, the company opened another "signature" store at Avalon in Alpharetta in 2014.   The Avalon store closed during the summer of 2020, but according to the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams website, the brand still operated a "virtual" store in Alpharetta.  

In an August 26 letter to employees obtained by editors at industry publications, interim CEO Chris Moye, who was appointed to the post in April, said the company had been unable to obtain additional financing to continue operations. “In the wake of this unfortunate development, the company will sadly need to wind down operations and terminate the employment of our employees beginning on August 26, 2023,” it read. “Because these events were unforeseen, we were unable to provide you and others more notice of this difficult decision. We are sorry to bring you this news.”

The company has reportedly not filed for bankruptcy and it remains unclear how and when in stock merchandise will be liquidated.  

Are you surprised to see Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams close?  What is your favorite furniture store in metro Atlanta?  What would you like to see open in place of Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams in Buckhead?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Very sad and unfortunate for the employees. This is an amazing brand and great quality product. Those leather Mitchell Gold club chairs will be heirlooms someday.

Anonymous said...

“Because these events were unforeseen, we were unable to provide you and others more notice of this difficult decision. We are sorry to bring you this news.”

Whatever! Sounds like BS to me.

Anonymous said...

I assume you know all the facts.

Anonymous said...

They probably really understand “business” so they know the truth.

Anonymous said...

right complete BS they had a better offer. I just hope it includes my order reaching my home.🙏🙏

Anonymous said...

Due to the fact that the events were unforeskin, you won’t get your order or a refund. Mwell, sorry!

Anonymous said...

What happens to those of us who paid tens of thousands of dollars for furniture that we have gotten?

Anonymous said...

Unforeseen events, that means no refund and no furniture. Unforeseen.

Anonymous said...

And another one bites it due to private equity.

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