After several rescue attempts and after two months of confirming its final entry into liquidation, Almacenes La 14 has just received a new breath on the path that was leading him to almost certain disappearance. This, after the businessman Tulio Gómez Throw a new lifeline down the chain.
The investor, who is among other things the largest shareholder of América de Cali, confirmed this Friday, November 19, that He has already rented five of the premises that belonged to the historic supermarket from the capital of Valle del Cauca, with the aim of opening new warehouses.
As reported by the local newspaper El País, these are the properties located in the Avenida Sexta, Avenida Pasoancho, Cosmocentro shopping center, Calima shopping center and another that is in the city of Pereira.
In an interview with that medium, Gómez assured that, “For us it is a pride to continue with the legacy of Mr. Jaime Cardona, don’t let the brand die. We bet on the region, supermarkets, ‘retail’, it has always been our business ”.
In that sense, he continued, he will make the administration of the premises under the tutelage of the chain of which he himself is the legal representative, what is La Montaña Supermarkets, without neglecting the identity of the traditional local brand.
For the latter, he told the Caleño newspaper, “We are going to hook up some former employees of La 14 and make an alliance with some microentrepreneurs and farmers in the region. We want to continue betting on Valle del Cauca ”.
Finally, he confirmed that the business is already done, with a lease agreement agreed until January 31, 2024, with the possibility of renewal, depending on how the legal process of liquidation that goes through the run over supermarket advances. According to the results of the latter, Gómez would even consider buying it.
Regarding the latter, the businessman later said, in dialogue with Blu Radio, that “The alternative that has been presented is to sell some assets and deliver the stores that are for rent and we will operate our own stores, that is, the officials will continue working and this will recover the jobs that were lost in some stores ”.
In the same speech, he added that in this way it seeks to “recover the region, not letting the brand La 14 die that we had in our house for a long time, with the best assortments and the best prices, we don’t want to let it die, we want to build ”.
It should be remembered that the companies of both the stores and the renowned Calima shopping center in Bogotá, which They had accepted the business reorganization process on February 11, under the assumption of imminent inability to pay, they decided to request the termination of this process and definitively undertake the judicial liquidation July 23. It began two months later, on September 17.
Within the processes Attorney Felipe Negret was appointed as liquidatorWho will be in charge of advancing them in a coordinated manner, according to the orders of the Contest Judge.
It should be remembered that the Law 1116 of 2006 judicial liquidation, seeks the prompt and orderly liquidation, seeking the best use of the debtor’s assets.
According to some figures from the Superintendency of Companies, Almacenes La 14, which was established by Abel Cardona Franco 57 years ago, reported in 2020 operating income of $ 781,202 million, which meant a loss of $ 72,782 million, reaffirming a variation of -19.57% compared to 2019 and 52%, more than half, since 2016, when it had its best year in sales, with $ 1.64 billion.