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DEDHAM, MA-Ames Department Stores Inc. will close its store here as well as its stores in 33 other locations across the state as the discount retail chain announced that it will begin a liquidation process. The Rocky Hill, CT-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last August but was never able to regain its footing in an industry that has been clobbered by giant retailers like Wal-Mart and Target.

“This was a wrenching decision, but the right course to take. Continued softness in sales, combined with tightening terms and slower shipments from our suppliers, have reduced our funds availability below critical levels,” says Ames chairman and CEO Joseph R. Ettore. “To ensure the greatest possible value for our various stakeholders–including our associates–Ames management has resolved to pursue an orderly liquidation of the company now, rather than continue along a path that would further diminish our resources and lead Ames to default on its lending agreements.”

Founded in 1958, Ames employs 21,500 people and has annual sales of approximately $2.7 billion. The company operates 327stores in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West including 19 stores in New Hampshire and 12 stores in Vermont. With its closing, Ames shares the recent fate of other regional discount chains such as Caldors and Bradlees.

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