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Originally published December 4, 2008 at 8:07 PM | Page modified December 5, 2008 at 9:26 AM

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iFloor files Chapter 11, cuts most of staff

Online retailer iFloor, which also operates about 35 stores nationwide, has filed for bankruptcy protection and eliminated approximately 90 out of 150 employees.

iFloor, a retailer of hardwood, bamboo and other flooring products that sells online and through about 35 stores nationwide, has filed for bankruptcy protection and eliminated approximately 90 of 150 employees.

After Thanksgiving, the Tukwila company "concluded that it was unable to secure adequate operating funding to go forward in this economy," said Mark Northrup, a bankruptcy attorney representing iFloor. A statement from the company said that "despite its best efforts, the company could not overcome the unprecedented current economic environment and the fact that consumers are spending less money remodeling their homes."

At its peak, iFloor reached nearly $60 million in annual sales, selling online and through locations in 19 states, he said. Under its corporate name, Smooth Corp., it placed on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies as recently as 2006.

The company's Chapter 11 documents, filed Thursday in bankruptcy court in Seattle, say it has estimated assets of $1 million to $10 million, and liabilities between $10 million and $50 million. Suppliers of bamboo, tile and other flooring products dominate the list of unsecured creditors, although the second-largest is Google, which is owed $386,486.

Northrup said the company plans to "concentrate on selling the existing inventory that it has," over a period of months. During that period, "I think they will see if there is any alternative" to keep the company going.

Securities filings show iFloor last month tried to raise $6 million in equity capital. Northrup said "some money was raised," but not the entire amount.

The company had more than 150 employees last month, but now only about 60 remain.

"Those will be kept at least until the inventory is cleared out," Northrup said.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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