National Wholesale Liquidators to re-open 'sometime in April'

The National Wholesale Liquidators (NWL) retail store at 735 Morrissey Blvd. will reopen for business, the Reporter was told this week.

The discount retailer that specializes in a no-frills shopping experience closed its doors in early 2009 after the company had filed for Chap. 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 10, 2008. At the time, NWL operated some 50 stores, most of them in the northeast.

In a phone interview this week, Robert Pidgeon, an executive at NSC Wholesale Holdings New York offices, said some of the assets of the small chain had been acquired by NSC, a firm staffed largely by former executives of NWL. He said the store would re-open "sometime in April" and would continue to be called National Wholesale Liquidators.

The Dorchester store was one of the company’s best performing locations prior to its closing, Pidgeon said. "It was a top ten store" among some 50 locations, he said. The new owner, NSC, last year acquired five other former NWL properties in New York state, he said, and so far has re-opened two of them. The Dorchester store would be the third successful reopening, he said.

In an interview with the Reporter at the time of the closing, Andy LaGrega, a partner with Wilder Company, a Boston-based firm which managed the Morrissey property, had blamed the closing on the then-looming recession.

"I know that was one of [NWL's] more successful stores," LaGrega told this newspaper. "The chain got hit with this whole credit crunch when GE Credit decided not to lend to them anymore. They were a very successful chain and this was a store they were trying to re-organize, but it didn't work out."

"Good retail locations with market density and demographics and access to the highway are hard to come by," LaGrega said. "Today every deal is difficult, but it's such a great location."

The discount department store operates in a location left vacant when the Bradlee's discount store went out of business in 2001. Last week, a news photographer visiting the site found several workmen at the building, and a worker on his way back from lunch confirmed that the store was being made ready for a re-opening.

NSC Wholesale Holdings executive Pidgeon said the re-opening would create opportunities for 100 employees.