American TV closing

After 60 years in business, American TV and Appliance has announced it will close all of its 11 locations, ending the jobs of 989 employees. (In IB’s September 2013 ranking of Greater Madison’s largest employers, American TV ranked No. 70, with 239 full-time and 51 part-time workers in Dane County.)

The Madison-based business was once a retail giant for consumer electronics, furniture, and appliances, and many will remember former owner Len Mattioli’s “Crazy TV Lenny” commercials from the store’s heyday.

But the last five years, according to press reports, have been difficult for the retailer.

The company is filing a Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 128 Receivership for the protection of its creditors.

“While this is a sad moment, it is also a proud moment. It’s a moment to be proud of our efforts and to be proud of what we have delivered to the community,” said Doug Ruehl, president and CEO of American, in a release. “Words cannot adequately express how grateful we are to our millions of loyal customers, and to the incredible dedicated family of employees that we have been blessed with over our 60 years of business.”

American will begin going-out-of-business sales on Thursday, Feb. 20 at all locations, during which the store will continue to fully serve its customers.