HICKSVILLE, N.Y. (AP) _ Newmark & Lewis Inc., a New York City-area electronics and appliance dealer, said Tuesday it would close 12 stores in January.

That will leave the retailer, which began 1991 with 67 stores, with just 14 outlets.

Ronald Fleischer, the company's chief executive, said holiday sales were substantially below expectations. He said the economy had worsened since Newmark & Lewis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late August.

Consumers have cut back sharply on their purchases of appliances, electronics and other expensive items.

About 100 employees are expected to be affected by the closings. Fleischer said the company will be try to relocate some of those workers at other stores.

Newmark & Lewis closed 41 outlets in 1991, mostly in Connecticut and New Jersey. The chain was founded in 1924.