Merrillville-based DirectBuy says it plans to continue to operate as it navigates bankruptcy proceedings. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the membership-based retailer is selling itself to yet-to-be-identified creditors.
The company was launched in 1971 and founder Jim Gagen sold it to Trivest Partners, a private equity firm, in 2007. The publication reports at one time, DirectBuy had one million members and more than 160 showrooms. Those totals have slipped to 205,000 members and 28 showrooms. In recent times, the company has focused more to e-commerce.
Chief Executive Officer Mike Bornhorst was quoted by the Times saying "we are pleased to have reached this agreement, which will enable us to fully capitalize on our innovative business model, provide significant benefits to our stakeholders and maximize the value of our company. Over the past three years, we have taken meaningful steps to strengthen our service platform and improve DirectBuy’s unique value proposition. In addition to operational initiatives, we have transitioned our business model to contemporize, customize and simplify the shopping experience for our members as well as to drive value for all our business partners. Today we have announced the next step in our transition, which will enable us to focus entirely on our bright future."
More than 400 employees work in Merrillville. The publication says the company will continue to pay workers, suppliers and vendors and fulfill outstanding customer orders.
Bornhorst continued "with the support of our lenders, we look forward to elevating the company to its next phase of growth and continuing to provide our valued members with the savings, selection and services that they have come to know and expect."
You can connect to coverage from the Times of Northwest Indiana by clicking here.