(Editors Note: This story corrects an updated version that referred to Doug Huffer as president and general manager of appliance recycler Recleim. The error was based on outdated information on Recleim’s website.)
A South Carolina appliance retailer that expanded into the Augusta market last year has closed its stores after filing for bankruptcy.
Aiken, S.C.-based Prestige Appliance, which opened its 5,000-square-foot showroom in west Augusta off River Watch Parkway last fall, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Sept. 7 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbia.
Companies filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy seek a simple liquidation to pay off creditors. Prestige’s 118 creditors include finance companies such as U.S. Bank, and appliance manufacturers such as Whirlpool, Electrolux and Miele, according to court documents. Documents list Prestige Appliance LLC’s assets and liabilities between $1 million and $10 million.
Phone and email messages left for Prestige President Douglas C. Huffer were not immediately returned Tuesday.
Huffer, a former Maytag executive, started the business in 2008, and had stores in Aiken on Whiskey Road and in Columbia on Fernandina Road. Over the spring, the company opened a factory-direct “scratch and dent” retail store, Discount Appliance, in Augusta’s Anderson Plaza shopping center off Bobby Jones Expressway.
Huffer also was affiliated with appliance recycling company Recleim, serving as its president and general manager of its Graniteville, S.C. facility. A company spokesman on Wednesday said Huffer has not been affiliated with Recleim since Jan. 1, 2016. The company’s current chief executive is Steve Bush, who also co-founded the “reverse logistics” company.
A phone message left with Prestige’s bankruptcy attorney, Harrison Penn of Columbia’s McCarthy, Reynolds & Penn LLC, was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Prestige acquired a half-acre tract near the River Watch Parkway-Interstate 20 interchange for its first Georgia store.
“For many years, we’ve been growing our business in Augusta and many of our customers have said they would like to see a showroom here,” Huffer told The Augusta Chronicle in 2015. “There won’t be anything like it in Augusta.”
The company sold and serviced high-end appliances such as Bosch, Thermador, Wolf and Sub Zero.
Prestige customer Mary Watts said she wants to know where her $2,500 Scotsman ice maker is being kept.
She said she has been kept in the dark since the company took the appliance in six weeks ago for a warranty-covered repair.
“Every time I called, they said the technician was out,” Watts said.
When the Martinez resident went to the store in person on Thursday, she discovered it was closed.
“Technically, I don’t know where my ice maker is,” she said.
“At this point, I just want it back.”
Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3352 or email@example.com.