UPDATE: American TV going out of business - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: American TV going out of business

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MADISON (WKOW) -- After selling furniture, electronics and appliances for 60 years, American is going out of business.

The Madison-based company announced in a statement Monday it is no longer able to remain open. The closing means 989 employees will lose their jobs.

"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 President and CEO Doug Reuhl, in a statement.

American will keep most employees on through a going-out-of-business sale to sell off the company's inventory. It starts Thursday. American has not released an anticipated closing date.

The company cites an unforgiving economy and several years in a difficult industry as the reason for closing.

Madison College retail expert Betty Hurd says American isn't the only business suffering. She says the changing nature of the retail industry has put less focus on big box stores and more focus on online shopping.

"The whole era of smartphones and tablets and things of that nature, I think have really changed the landscape, more than anything else, whether you're big or little it doesn't really matter," says Hurd.

Hurd tells 27 News moving forward, retailers must turn to the Internet to stay in business and reach an online audience.

Hurd is also a former employee of American. She worked at the store during what she calls its heyday, the mid 1980's. She says there will definitely be a mourning period in our area as we lose a Madison staple.

A more recent former employee, Wendy Franczak, says American's closing will be a big loss.

"It's a local legacy and they've been around forever," Franczak tells 27 News. "I'm really sad for my friends who are going to lose their jobs now."

South Madison Development Corporation released a statement Monday in reaction to the American closure saying the loss will impact the south side of Madison but will also offer a new business opportunity in the area.

“We regret the loss of an iconic South Madison business. American TV, and the Reuhl family have been long-time supporters of community projects . As a community we should thank every American TV, employee and customer over the company’s 60 year run. This will have an impact on our regional economy and affect many hardworking families, now is the time for us to start thinking about the future - and what we can do together.” said spokesperson Daniel Guerra, Jr.

Until American closes, the company will honor gift cards and refunds for gift cards people do not want to redeem.  All extended warranties are valid and insured through a third-party insurance company.   If you are waiting for a delivery you will receive your products or be refunded.

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MADISON (WKOW) --- American TV will be going out of business.

The company announced the closure Monday adding they will have a going out of business sale beginning Thursday, February 20.

“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 Reuhl, President and CEO of American since 1988. “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”.

989 employees were given advanced notice of the closure involving 11 locations.

During the closure, American will honor gift cards and refunds for gift cards people do not want to redeem.  All extended warranties are valid and insured through a third-party insurance company.   If you are waiting for a delivery you will receive your products or be refunded.

We will continue to follow this story here on www.wkow.com and on 27 News at 5 & 6.

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