Knoxville-based Goody's has long, storied history

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- For more than fifty years, the Goody’s name has been a part of the clothing industry.

Mike Goodfriend and his family opened a small discount apparel store in 1953. The store was named Goodfriend and operated one location in Athens.

The store sold mostly irregulars, close outs, and last year's styles, but carved a niche in the clothing market that kept customers coming back.

By 1972, the company had grown to 12 stores, and had annual revenue of $12 million. Mike turned to his son Bob, who had retailing experience, to join the company and re-evaluate the company's direction.

Bob Goodfriend redirected Goody's to offer well-recognized, fashion names and up-to-the-minute trends at moderate prices. It was a move that led to an astounding increase in sales, and a remarkable increase in company growth.

So much so, Goody's, with $273 million in annual sales, went public in 1991, and within two years, the company doubled its sales figures and expanded to 171 stores.

The first signs of trouble came in 1998. Even though it achieved its $1 billion sales goal, profits began to show signs of weakness. Those troubles continued through 2001, when the company announced a $20.2 million loss.

In 2003, Goody’s celebrated their 50-year anniversary, and announced they had acquired the Duck Head brand of clothing, but by 2005, CEO Bob Goodfriend sold Goody's to a holding company for $8 a share.

In September of 2007, Ashley Judd launched her own clothing line at Goody’s.

And then Monday came the anticipated announcement that Goody's was closing 69 stores, and planned to reorganize under chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

After 58 years, the future now holds many questions for a business born right here in East Tennessee.


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