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Financial Turnarounds: Preserving Value by William W. Sihler - Darden Graduate School of Business Administration University of Virginia, Henry A. Davis - Henry A. Davis & Co.

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Chapter 8. Retailing Sector

Ames Department Stores, Inc.

Ames Department Stores, Inc., the fourth-largest national discounter and the largest regional discounter in the United States, had to declare bankruptcy after it made an ill-advised acquisition and lost sight of its core customer. A new CEO and his team accomplished the turnaround by refocusing on the core customer and establishing a market niche that allowed Ames’ stores to coexist with the larger Wal-Mart and K-Mart stores.

Background

Ames began operations in 1958, opening a store in the former Ames Worsted Textile Company building in Southbridge, Massachusetts. The company’s business strategy was to bring discounting to the smaller towns and rural areas of the northeast United States. By ...

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