How Pierre Deux home decor firm bid adieu
A thick bankruptcy case filed in the Garden State has shed some light on the sudden closing last month of the high-end Pierre Deux shop on King Street, along with 22 other locations around the country.
The daunting numbers stacked up like this for the chain's owner, Arts des Provinces de France Inc. : assets of $12.1 million and debts of almost $54 million.
On a per-store basis, that's equal to more than $2.3 million in red ink.
The parent company filed to liquidate its assets in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark, N.J., on June 23, the same day the chain was abruptly shut down, court records show.
The company operated 23 Pierre Deux stores in 13 states, mostly in California and the Northeast.
The shop at 279 King St. in downtown Charleston opened in 2008. Its employees were told the day of the 191-page bankruptcy filing to leave the building and lock the doors.
Sharon Levine, an attorney representing the Secaucus, N.J.-based parent company, told the trade publication Furniture Today last week that Pierre Deux "no longer exists" but would not elaborate.
A trustee, lawyer Steven Kartzman of Morris Plains, N.J., has been named by the court to oversee the Arts des Provinces de France liquidation process. Kartzman said in the legal filing that the value of the company's assets was unknown as of Thursday.
Creditors have until Sept. 3 to file a claim.
U.S. News & World Report's list of the "Best Hotels in the USA" don't have any from Charleston in the top 10, but four of them made the list of the 86 properties in the annual survey.
Among those listed from Charleston are Wentworth Mansion, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Planters Inn and Charleston Place by Orient-Express.
Wentworth Mansion at 149 Wentworth St. in downtown Charleston scored the highest of 127 metro Charleston hotels and inns. Rooms average $373 a night.
The Elysian Hotel in Chicago, a 66-story hotel at $395 a night, topped the list nationwide.
Up and coming
Call it some ink from Inc.
Adam Witty, founder of Charleston-based Advantage Media Group, recently was named to Inc. Magazine's list of 30 promising entrepreneurs under age 30.
Witty, 29, said his approach to business was inspired by his father's perseverance after being laid off by a big financial firm more than 20 years ago.
"Rather than find another job, he decided he was going to start a company," Witty told Inc.
The resulting two-person health care credentialing business morphed into a 150-worker enterprise in fairly short order.
"It was instructive for me to see it up close and personal," Witty said in his "30 under 30" Inc. profile. "I saw the sacrifices that had to be made, but I also saw the benefits that [came] with a lot of perseverance."
Launched in 2005, Advantage Media Group is a media and marketing company that specializes in book publishing for motivational speakers. It now has 15 employees and is projecting $3 million in revenue this year. The firm works with about 350 authors.
The S.C. State Ports Authority has been named to a list of "supply chain visionaries who every day demonstrate their commitment to sustainability" by Inbound Logistics, a trade magazine. The June 20 issue identified "75 Green Supply Chain Partners" in a special section.
In some areas of logistics, most major players were recognized on the list. Norfolk Southern, CSX and Union Pacific were among rail lines recognized as green partners, for example. But the SPA was among just five ports that made the list.
The recognition is sure to please SPA supporters, coming at a time when the agency is facing criticism from a local environmental group related to cruise ships.
The publication cited the port's "Pledge for Growth" environmental program and collaborations with public and private industry on projects to reduce emissions from maritime equipment to trucks, tugs and other harbor craft.
On June 28, the Port of Charleston hosted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Coalition for Responsible Transportation for the announcement at the Wando Welch Terminal of a national program aimed at reducing emissions from short-haul "drayage" trucks in port cities by extending the SmartWay program to local truck fleets.