Goodwill Industries won’t be able to recover from bankruptcy. A statement released from the company’s CEO today outlines how they will be unable to re-open more profitable Goodwill stores, after the sudden shuttering of outlets across Eastern, Central, and Northern Ontario. The statement from CEO Keiko Nakamura is posted below:
“February 29, 2016 – Toronto, Ontario – After an exhaustive analysis and search for investors I have concluded that there is no viable option that allows the organization to reemerge from the bankruptcy process. A revival plan to re-open profitable stores, although feasible, cannot be achieved without significant financial investment. The present lack of security for a loan is an untenable risk for potential investors.
I am saddened to announce that the bankruptcy process will be moving forward. Of the $6 million debt, approximately $4.2 million is owed to former employees in vacation entitlement and severance. The Trustee, Pollard & Associates Inc., has called a meeting with creditors for March 2, 2016. With a Trustee in place, there is no longer a role for a CEO. I will continue to assist the Trustee on a voluntary basis.
Goodwill TECNO has played a vital role in Ontario communities. This loss severely disrupts the lives of former staff, many of whom may experience difficulty in finding an equivalent replacement position. The community at large has lost a reliable way of disposing of goods that are no longer needed while at the same time support the community; shoppers are left with fewer sources for reasonably priced goods; cities will incur a large increase in the volume of materials going to landfill; and at a time of rapid economic change those needing assistance in overcoming barriers to employment have lost one of the best available employment services.
I am grateful to former staff who helped work on the Restructuring Plan, as well as to those that established Renew the Good to support former vulnerable employees, and to a number of advisors who volunteered their time and expertise to help me to exhaust all avenues before reaching this conclusion.
I joined Goodwill TECNO knowing that a turnaround in its financial affairs would be an incredible challenge. For an organization that has been in place for decades, the difficulties were insurmountable and solutions were never simple as we tried our best to avoid this outcome. As an organization we worked through the challenges and the resilience of staff during times of change was remarkable. I have had the privilege of being part of this organization and I have witnessed over the last month what Goodwill has meant to many. I deeply regret that there is no way to save this company. I am thankful for the time I had at Goodwill and my good fortune to have been part of this magnificent group of people.