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Case History: Retail Exit Strategy - 

"Dark" Store Liquidation

Apparel Retailer:
The North Face @
KL Mountain Shop 


Even when financial institutions are "handed the keys" from borrowers walking away from inventory, significant capital can be recovered.


As an independently owned North Face store on Church Street in downtown Burlington, VT, KL Mountain Shop became a premier source for winter apparel and gear, meeting the needs of both locals and tourists. However, after years of success, cash flow tightened and merchandise stock began to pile up as sales declined, online order returns increased, negative impact from the online marketplace took hold and survival strategies failed.  This led to locations being shuttered and merchandise condensed into the downtown store, including additional stock from exclusive brands Marmot, Burton, and Mountain Hardwear. After an ineffective attempt by the owner to liquidate, the bank took possession of the merchandise to preserve capital. When Fortis Business Advisors became involved, the operation had been dissolved, and the store was effectively “dark,” having been inoperable for over a month.



After the bank reviewed several recovery strategies, most of which required absorbing steep losses, Fortis Business Advisors was brought in and took over the business with the specific objective of re-establishing the operation for liquidating the assets for the highest recovery possible. Fortis organized all staffing, merchandising, cash flow management, and reporting, as well as the execution of a high-impact marketing strategy that included radio, social media, email marketing, and print media advertising. 


99.9% Return on Gross Sales-to-Inventory Cost

Over $500K in sales generated in a 2,600-square foot space in 6.5 weeks

Every unit of merchandise sold-out to the bare walls

Delivery of a cleaned and lease-ready space upon completion of the event

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