RUNNING ON EMPTY
‘Self-inflicted wound’ preceded RunTex downfall, auction: RunTex, a business that took Austinite Paul Carrozza 25 years to build, was sold off, piece by piece, over the span of just a few hours last week.
In rapid-fire succession, an auctioneer hired by the Travis County tax assessor/collector’s office found new owners for hundreds of items – running shoes, shelving, signs, popup tents, sports memorabilia and more – seized from the company last month.
Carrozza — who through the years has became one of the leaders in Austin’s running community — was there to watch it all unfold.
“I’m a gutsy guy,” said Carrozza, who blamed his lack of business acumen for RunTex’s problems. “I kind of felt like I had to be here.”
The daylong sale netted just over $60,000, according to the county. The cash will go to pay more than $17,000 in past-due property taxes owed by RunTex, with the remainder going to the company’s other creditors, including its landlord, who obtained a $150,000 court judgment for missed rent payments.
“RunTex is a beloved, iconic Austin business,” Travis County Tax Assessor/Collector Bruce Elfant said. “This is a profoundly sad event, but we had to take this action to protect the taxpayers’ interests.”
Carrozza told the American-Statesman some vendors are still awaiting payments as well.
RunTex hasn’t declared bankruptcy, Carrozza said, and he said he hopes such a move won’t be necessary.
A couple of hundred people attended the auction, cramming into the flagship RunTex store at 422 W. Riverside Drive in Central Austin. One was Parvaiz Dama, who walked out midday with an armful of running shoes he’d purchased for his church’s youth football league.
“RunTex has been around such a long time,” he said. “I can’t imagine Austin without RunTex.”
Carrozza insists the RunTex name will survive. But beyond that, he said he’s not sure what’s next for the company.
“I hope to be Phoenix rising from the ashes,” he said. “I’m hoping to take off again. We’re not giving up. We’re just … re-engineering.”
Whole Foods stock jumped to record high after strong earnings report: Whole Foods Market’s stock hit an all-time high last week after a strong earnings report earlier in the week.
The company’s stock soared to a record $102.19 per share on Wednesday.
It’s another sign that the Austin-based natural foods grocer has roared back from the recession, when its stock bottomed out at less than $9 a share in late 2008.
Company officials declined to comment on the stock price. But their second-quarter results were encouraging to investors. Whole Foods reported a profit of $142 million — up 21 percent from last year — and net income of 76 cents per share.
Sales rose 13 percent to $3.03 billion. The results beat predictions of analysts, who expected earnings of 73 cents a share on $3.03 billion in revenue.
Brian Yarbrough, an analyst for Edward Jones, said the results alleviated some analysts’ concerns about possible weakening of Whole Foods’ same-store sales. Whole Foods officials said same-store sales, a key indicator of growth, were up 6.9 percent.
“I think if you’re an investor, you look longer-term, 4 to 5 years out, and these guys probably have another couple hundred stores … I think there’s just a ton of things going in their favor,” Yarbrough said.