After 83 years in business, distressed specialty retailer Mark Shale will close its three remaining Chicago stores because it can’t find a strategic partner.
The high-end retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in August in Chicago, representing its third tour of bankruptcy proceedings. At the time, all three stores stayed open as the firm tried to find a partner to help strengthen the business and keep it in operation. The previous filing was in March 2009, during which the eight-unit chain shuttered five stores. Its first bankruptcy was in November 1995.
Market sources said while less than half of the business was in women’s, that component dragged down overall operations. The men’s business, which is what the chain is known for, was said to be doing well.
The sites to be shuttered include the flagship on Michigan Avenue, as well as stores in Oak Brook and Northbrook, Ill. Going-out-of-business sales are expected to begin shortly to clear out the inventory left in the stores.
The business was founded by Shale Baskin in 1929. Members of the Baskin family still retain partial ownership of the firm. Some of the equity was sold to JOB Investments during the 2009 bankruptcy.