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Editor 04-28-2011 08:29 AM

Kaufmann's closes
 
http://media.oregonlive.com/business...9527-small.jpg

By Laura Gunderson, The Oregonian

Kaufmann's Streamborn Flyfishing store in Tigard remains dark and locked after unexpectedly closing last week.

Lance Kaufmann, owner of Kaufmann's Streamborn of Tigard, plans to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection for his 42-year-old fly fishing outfitter next week, according to the company's lawyer.

Plans are to liquidate and permanently close the store, said Matthew Arbaugh of the Portland firm Field Jerger. Arbaugh referred further questions to Kaufmann, whose cell phone voice mail was full. Nobody is answering phones at either store.

Arbaugh said that he expects to meet with the Tigard store's landlord today to set a time to open the store so that customers may pick up gear that they had dropped off for repairs. Anyone who has merchandise at Kaufmann's or has paid for gear or services they haven't received should call Arbaugh at 503-228-9115.

Arbaugh's phone likely will be ringing soon.

In a Groupon daily deal last month, 682 people bought $47 gift certificates for a six-hour fly-fishing class that was typically priced at $95. And, after a story in The Oregonian last week about Kaufmann's abrupt closure, a dozen customers responded with questions about future trips they'd already paid for, hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards they'd saved in hopes of buying certain gear or fly-fishing classes they'd bought but hadn't yet taken.

Planning a father-daughter trip, Allan Polley and his 25-year-old daughter had already paid for a two-day fly fishing class at Kaufmann's in early May. They were sad -- and a little frustrated -- to hear their trip and the cash were gone. Polley had decided to go with Kaufmann's after his wife offered to buy him waders for their wedding anniversary in January.

"We first went to Dick's (Sporting Goods) and they didn't help us at all," said Polley, who ended up finding just the right pair at Kaufmann's. However, the store didn't have his size in stock, so the clerks pulled a nicer pair that was $200 more from the back and sold it at the lower price.


Cash or gear at Kaufmann's Streamborn?
The retailer plans to file for bankruptcy next week and is compiling names of customers who bought but haven't received gear or services. The retailer also hopes to set a date for customers to pick up any gear that was dropped off at the store for repairs.
Call: Kaufmann's lawyer Matthew Arbaugh at 503-228-9115.
Consumers also have the right to file a complaint with the Oregon Attorney General's Office at 877-877-9392.

"They gave us great service," said Polley, who received no e-mails or phone calls when the business closed. "I just drove by the other day and everything is still in there, but there's a big 'For Lease' sign in the window."

His daughter tracked down another class that will be held in June through Orvis, a national retailer that opened its first Portland area store at Bridgeport Village late last year.

Jim Butsch of Wilsonville had wondered if some of the larger chains, such as Orvis and Dick's, had made it more difficult for Kaufmann's. He was upset to find the store closed as he had three reels inside he'd dropped off for repairs. He finally tracked down the company where they'd been sent and said he expects to get them back.

Butsch had been going to the store for 25 years, attracted by the high-quality flies that co-founder Randall Kaufmann was famous for tying.

From their parents' garage, Randall and Lance Kaufmann launched a catalog business that put their flies -- including the Kaufmann Stone, Timberline Emerger, Hot Butt Caddis and Stimulator -- on the international fishing scene. Employees said that Lance Kaufmann had bought out his brother in recent years and was operating the store on his own.

The company ultimately grew to three stores, in Tigard, Seattle and Bellevue, a location that was closed over the past year. The Seattle store closed at the same time as the one in Tigard.

Kaufmann employee Brian Marz recalls feeling honored to be hired at the Tigard shop last March. Marz was Kaufmann's webmaster, blogger, store clerk and guide, yet was the newest one on board.

"Business was slower than it should be, but at the same time, we were just about to get into our busy season," he said, sharing the surprise he and other employees felt when it was discovered that the store's locks had been changed last week. He guessed about a half dozen employees worked at the Seattle store and the Tigard location, where he said a longer-than-expected construction project had frustrated Lance Kaufmann.

"Everybody in the Oregon and Washington area that has a name in the fly-fishing industry at one point or another worked for Kaufmann's," Marz said. "After 42 years, you don't want to remember only the bad taste."

fredaevans 04-28-2011 12:21 PM

Re: Kaufmann's closes
 
Thanks for the up-date Paul. Lots of new info there.

Fred

mcnerney 04-28-2011 12:33 PM

Re: Kaufmann's closes
 
Paul: Thanks for sharing all the details on the closing, this is very sad to see.

Larry

goldentrout 04-28-2011 12:41 PM

Re: Kaufmann's closes
 
People can speculate about whether or not other stores played a part in Kaufmann's closing up shop but when it comes right down to it, it is the economy as a whole that is causing very reputable businesses like Kaufmann's to go under. It's a shame that this is going down the way it is, being so sudden and all. People all over are having to cut back on luxuries like fishing trips and gear. More people can see the hand writting on the wall and are hanging on to their money and preparing for bad times. :(

peregrines 04-28-2011 02:04 PM

Re: Kaufmann's closes
 
This is very sad to hear--

mojo 04-28-2011 06:08 PM

Re: Kaufmann's closes
 
And on the other hand, it could be mismanagement these past few years. I hope the people that shelled out the big and small bucks for services get their money back.

popperfly 04-29-2011 04:42 PM

Re: Kaufmann's closes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mojo (Post 248219)
And on the other hand, it could be mismanagement these past few years. I hope the people that shelled out the big and small bucks for services get their money back.


That is a good question!!

I hate to see another fly shop go out of business no matter what the circumstances are but quote me if I am wrong and I am no attorney. Can’t there be legal charges filed against the owner knowingly taking money from all these individual for trips, classes and gift cards when he knew the situation of his finances. I mean this just didn’t happen overnight, I understand the owner is protected under the bankrupted laws but I would think there could be criminal fraud here. I am just thinking out loud because this could happen to several other fly shops across the country the way the economy is so what protection does the consumer have from this happen to them. I know all the stock will be sold off for pennies on the dollar but that money will go towards creditors and not for all the services agreed upon.

neversink 05-02-2011 05:49 AM

Re: Kaufmann's closes
 
Very sad to see good store goes away...

stimmy7 05-05-2011 03:09 PM

Re: Kaufmann's closes
 
WOW! This is very sad to hear.

I ordered from them by phone/mail many times over the years and actually got to go to the shop twice in mid-90s when travelling on business. Glad I had an extra suitcase for flight home =-)


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