A huge “Going out of business” sign hangs on Goody’s, signaling the longtime retailer’s closing. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Jan. 13.

Though it is not clear when the store will shut its doors for good, it will be soon.

London store manager Steve Geoghegan said closing the store — which has been in London about 18 years — is a shame.

“We’ve very disappointed,” he said. “Really, very disappointed ... We fill a niche in our area. There’s not a whole lot of stores in the London area like this. We have a very, very strong base of loyal customers — customers you see in here every week, sometimes twice a week.”

Geoghegan said he and the store’s 24 other employees learned about the liquidation and closing Jan. 8. The next day, liquidators stepped in. Most items are selling at 40 percent off.

The Goody’s chain is comprised of about 280 stores, all of which will close. The company has been suffering for the past year. It first filed for bankruptcy June 9, 2008 but was able to emerge from it about three months later after restructuring and closing 69 of its stores.

The streamlining does not appear to have worked.

A message on Goody’s corporate office voicemail said management was not available for comment.

While the rest of the chain suffered, Geoghegan said the London store was still performing well.

“We were still doing better than the industry average and the chain average,” he said.

Geoghegan attributed the bankruptcy to the state of the country’s economy.

“The economy is in tough shape right now,” he said. “I think we were just a victim of the economy.”

He added he feels for his employees who will lose their jobs.

“I’ve got some full-timers here that have been here a long time,” he said. “This is their life. It’s tough.”

In addition to speaking of his staff, Geohegan spoke of his customers.

“We appreciate our customers,” he said. “We thank them. We’ll miss them. We feel sorry for them too.”

As of Friday, the store would not offer refunds or exchanges for merchandise. All sales are final. Gift cards can still be used, but the Goody’s credit card will not be accepted.

Staff writer Tara Kaprowy can be reached by e-mail at tkaprowy@sentinel-echo.com.

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