Consumer Alert: Ruby-Gordon set to close after filing for bankruptcy in 2023

Consumer Alert: Ruby Gordon

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Wednesday’s Consumer Alert looks at the end of a Rochester staple. Ruby-Gordon will close before the end of the year. The owners filed bankruptcy last November.

The big question concerns the customers. What happens to all those folks who ordered furniture they never got?

Customer Joe Polizza needed a new couch, and he knew where to go: Ruby-Gordon.

“Beautiful couch I picked out, but it was snow white. I wanted a different color,” says Polizza. “The salesman said we can get it to you, but it will take time to arrive. I says ‘I got no problem. I’m not going anywhere.'”

That was October 21, and all was well. Or so he thought.

“Four weeks later, I’m watching Channel 10. Ruby-Gordon’s going in bankruptcy,” Polizza explains.

According to the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the company owes a long list of businesses and suppliers totaling $486,719.32.

“Couple of weeks went by and I started thinking to myself, ‘Bankruptcy is bankruptcy.’ I call up every button I push…elevator music. Can’t get ahold of nobody,” says Polizza.

So, at the advice of News10NBC’s Chief Investigative Reporter Berkley Brean, Joe called up his credit card company and got his money back.  

That’s apparently not the case for 43 customers listed in the bankruptcy filing, all folks who paid for furniture they never got. Total owed to these folks? Around $65,780.23.

What a difference a few months make. Last July — just four months before filing bankruptcy — Ruby Gordon’s leaders told News10NBC they were optimistic and committed to continuing the nearly century old business.

“90 percent of third generation businesses close. I’m in the third generation, so that’s up there,” says Ruby Gordon’s CEO Aaron Ruby. “We’d like something to pass onto our kids, the fourth generation. The way things have been, as Janetta said, we don’t want to become a statistic.”=

But, a statistic they are. Part of the third generation owners forced to close the business their grandparents built.

So, Wednesday News10NBC’s Deanna Dewberry had a lengthy conversation with Ray Stilwell, the bankruptcy lawyer representing Ruby-Gordon. He says the judge and all parties have agreed that in this bankruptcy proceeding they’ll give customers priority. So they’re establishing a fund just for customers.

Stilwell says you can either get your furniture or a full refund. And every customer will be made whole.

As for the store, it’s having a liquidation sale that will last exactly 180 days. After that, Ruby-Gordon will be no more.