Ken Crane’s to Close Doors


Ken Crane’s, a big-screen television retailer based in Hawthorne, is going out of business, closing six stores and laying off 75 people, the company announced Friday.

The 62-year old company had carved out a niche as an upscale television and home theater retailer. The company eventually grew to 10 stores and 175 employees across Southern California.

But the recent recession and competition from national electronics chains such as Best Buy proved too much for the family-owned business. The company made two rounds of cutbacks; the most recent in January when it closed four of its stores in Orange and Riverside counties. Efforts to find financing or factors to buy their accounts receivable also failed, the company stated in a press release.

The owners described the decision to close as painful.

“We have faced many storms in 62 years and have been able to weather them all, except the Great Recession of ’07,” co-owners Casey and Pam Crane said in a letter that appeared in liquidation ads in local publications. “With no end of this recession in sight, we have made the painful decision to close.”

Liquidation sales at the six stores in Encino, Hawthorne, Pasadena, Torrance, West Los Angeles and Westminster are expected to continue for up to 60 days.

On Thursday, Thornton, Colo.-based Ultimate Electronics announced plans to open up to 10 stores across Southern California, including one in West Los Angeles. The Ultimate chain, purchased out of bankruptcy in 2005 by Hollywood Video founder Mark Wattles, has nearly three dozen stores nationwide.

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Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.

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