New developments for what used to be a major Montana retailer. Vann's Electronics and Appliances has closed another shop. This time, the lights are out in Bozeman, the store Vann's executives identified as the temporary corporate headquarters in Montana after closing stores in Missoula, Kalispell, Helena and Hamilton.
That leaves on one store of what was once a six store group. Billings in still in operation and the company still maintains an internet presence. New owners have long pointed to Billings as the strongest of their retail stores.
After checking my notes and archived interviews, I recalled that the company that bought Vann's out of bankruptcy looked to Bozeman as an opportunity to expand. During an interview just over a year ago, former CEO Greg Regelbrugge told me of expand, adding an "On" store and and Apple store in Bozeman. Today, Regelbrugge is gone and Vann's owners have locked the doors in Bozeman.
The company, once a thriving organization, is a fading memory and a smaller piece of a complex business holding company.
Billings employees tell me the headquarters is now in Florida. There's no corporate office in Montana.
Meanwhile, the legal wrangling in the Vann's bankruptcy continues. Earlier this month, the bankruptcy trustee filed for a summary judgement against former executives and corporate officers. They're accused of compensating themselves at the expense of stockholders and driving Vann's into insolvency.
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