PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Kevin Smith, owner of A & K Thrift Mall, released the following statement Monday afternoon following the store's sudden closure over the weekend.
"It is with deep sympathies that we of the A & K Thrift Mall must announce its immediate closure after more than two and a half years of operation. Due to many factors such as rising operational costs, the cost of various onsite updates/repairs, the slowing of store revenue to include store booth rentals, unpaid booth rent/debt and the various fluctuations of economic factors impacting our business, it was decided that the business had to close -- immediately -- when speaking with our legal advisors this past Friday.
"The situation is now a Legal Situation of Pending Bankruptcy and all items and issues are being taken care of accordingly. To that point, everyone that has visited our store and met us (the owners) know that we have worked diligently and tirelessly to make our store as successful as possible and our vendors as profitable as possible. We have worked diligently for every vendor, even when a vendor gave less than the maximum effort and time needed in order to make their booth a success. We personally worked in, organized, straightened, cleaned and/or restocked many booths for vendors, on our own time and our own dime, just to help them out when they could not find the time for one reason or another. We have worked night and day to build our business all the while investing all of our resources, including most all of our time and all of our financial resources. We have made many friends of customers and vendors and hope that everyone can be patient while the legal process of our pending bankruptcy plays out its legal course.
"Although it was unfortunate that we could not give our vendors an advance notice before the end of this past business week, on this past Friday, the decision was made and executed due to the advice given from our Legal Advisors. We are currently working to secure a compromise through Legal Channels with the property management group this week in hopes of a quick resolution for vendors to be able to follow a designated aisle/booth emptying plan in order to pick up their items in an organized and orderly manner.
"Even in this closure process, we of The A & K Thrift Mall are making efforts to try to work with the property management group and provide information concerning the legal process that we are going through along with our proposed plan for vendors emptying their booths. Rest assured, all of the vendors that had items in the store as of this past Friday Closure still have their items in place in their booths and on the sales floor. Our store security system is currently still in place for doors/windows as well as other precautions to include the securing of documents with vendor names, addresses, contact #s, etc.
"We hope to have additional information posted on the facilities windows and online, in the next 24 hours, along with personal correspondence being sent to our former vendors via legal channels in the near future.
"Thank You to all who shopped with us, vendors who were true friends and all of the people who truly cared for our well being,
The Owners of The A & K Thrift Mall in Phenix City, Alabama"