Cain and Abel they're not! Brothers and executives Joe and Mike Zeiden founded Z Gallerie in 1979, using their parents' garage for a warehouse and production facility. Initially Z Gallerie (later joined by sister Carole Malfatti) sold poster art, but in the 1980s the trio added home furnishings and accessories to the merchandising mix. Today Z Gallerie stores, which span some 10,000 sq. ft. on average, feature bedding and pillows, dinnerware, glassware, rugs, lamps, candleholders, clocks, frames and albums, games, and gifts. The firm's eclectic pieces are sold through its website and some 55 US retail locations in nearly 20 states. Z Gallerie exited Chapter 11 in fall 2009 after a six-month stint in bankruptcy.
Since emerging from bankruptcy protection, Z Gallerie spends its time prudently shopping for new locations for its shops while the company keeps a close eye on the performance of its existing stores. The furniture retailer opened a store in Redmond, Washington, and in late 2011 opened two more shops: one each in Texas and Georgia.
Prior to its April 2009 bankruptcy filing, the furniture seller shuttered about 20 underperforming stores and a distribution center in Atlanta in response to the slowdown in the economy. The closures caused the firm to exit several markets, including Ohio, consolidate its network of distributors, and shed about 350 employees.
Z Gallerie blamed its financial woes on the recession and competition from going-out-of-business sales held by competitors as the recession took root. The company said that it filed for Chapter 11 to strengthen its balance sheet and to get out of the lease obligations associated with the closed stores and distribution facility. – less