Tidyman's Closing More Stores

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Tidyman's supermarket chain here will shutter three additional stores in a bid to pay off debt, two of the stores here in Spokane, and one in Livingston, Mont. The current round of closures brings the number of stores to eight, according to a published report.

Tidyman's c.e.o. Mike Davis told the Spokane Spokesman-Review that employees at the two Spokane stores have been offered jobs at other Tidyman's locations, while workers at the Montana store will receive severance pay based on years of service. Davis cited competition from a nearby Wal-Mart as one of the factors involved in the decision to shut the north Spokane store. The company has received an offer to buy the Spokane Valley property, but Davis declined to identify the prospective purchaser.

Store closings over the past three years have allowed the supermarket operator to pay off 75 percent of its debt, some of which came from a sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by two ex-workers who claimed that they made less money than men in comparable positions at the retailer and that they were denied advancement because of their gender. A federal jury ruled against Tidyman's in 1999, imposing a $6.2 million judgment against the company.

Before its financial woes started, Tidyman's had 21 stores operating under four distinct formats in Washington, Montana, and Idaho.

According to Davis, Tidyman's will continue to pay off its debt and working to improve the company's finances.
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