Mattress Firm plans to close as many as 700 stores

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HOUSTON (AP) Mattress Firm, Inc., the nation's largest mattress retailer, is filing for bankruptcy protection and plans to close as many as 700 of its more than 3,000 stores around the country.

The chain has two stores in College Station, one in Brenham, and one in Huntsville.

The Houston-based company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday in federal court in Delaware, did not identify stores targeted for closure.

“Leading up to the holiday shopping season, we will exit up to 700 stores in certain markets where we have too many locations in close proximity to each other,” Steve Stagner, executive chairman, president and CEO of Mattress Firm, said.

“We intend to use the additional liquidity from these actions to improve our product offering, provide greater value to our customers, open new stores in new markets, and strategically expand in existing markets where we see the greatest opportunities to serve our customers.”

According to court documents, Mattress Firm has more than $1 billion in liabilities and has more than 50,000 creditors. It owes its largest creditor, mattress maker Simmons Manufacturing Co., nearly $65 million.

The company has expanded aggressively in recent years, purchasing competitors.