Did you hear?...Former executives look to resurrect G.I. Joe’s retail stores

Three former executives and the founder’s son aim to resurrect G.I. Joe’s from the retail grave, and have opened a small storefront in a Bethany, Ore., strip mall with plans for more in coming months, according to a recent article in The (Portland) Oregonian newspaper.
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Three former executives and the founder’s son aim to resurrect G.I. Joe’s from the retail grave, and have opened a small storefront in a Bethany, Ore., strip mall with plans for more in coming months, according to a recent article in The (Portland) Oregonian newspaper.

After Joe’s Sports, Outdoor & More’s (formerly G.I. Joe’s) bankruptcy and liquidation in spring 2009 (click here to read an April 10, 2009, SNEWS report), Alberta-based UFA Holdings/Wholesale Sports, a Canadian company that owns Wholesale Sports, bought the domain names JoesSports.com and GIJoes.com (click here to read a Dec. 7, 2009, SNEWS story).

Despite that, the group plans to fight for the name and “replant the deep community roots” G.I. Joe’s was once known for, The Oregonian said in its story. After more than a year of legwork, David Orkney, son of founder Edward Orkney, and former executives B.G. Eilertson, Ron Menconi and Ed Ariniello have received a commitment from an unnamed investor who they say has guaranteed enough capital to open a flagship store this year, the article said. The plan calls for three to five stores in the Portland area over the next 18 months, it added. The current Bethany storefront is what they called a “place-holder,” and is part of "The G.I. Joe's Comeback."

G.I. Joe’s opened in 1952 and grew to 31 stores before it filed for bankruptcy reorganization in March 2009. A month later, the stores were liquidated.

To read the full article in The Oregonian, click here.

--Wendy Geister

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