The Friendly’s ice cream chain did indeed file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week, which was not a surprise, as the filing was widely expected.
What was a surprise was that Friendly’s immediately closed thirty of their restaurants in Massachusetts upon filing.
The Merrimack Valley was spared from the bankruptcy closures for the time being. Friendly’s in Lawrence and Haverhill are still operating, and if you like this chain, I would go there and support them while they re-organize. The Friendly’s Express at the Loop in Methuen (a smaller, streamlined Friendly’s store) is also still open despite the bankruptcy.
Restaurant and retail chains often file bankruptcy cases so they can close money-losing outlets and concentrate on the profitable ones. This usually invloves terminating the long term leases on the stores to be closed. The same move is available to individuals thinking about bankruptcy. If you are stuck in a car lease or a apartment lease gone bad, a bankruptcy filing could get you out of it, too.
By Doug Beaton