Last year was an extremely busy one for bankruptcy courts, as many retailers gave up the ghost amid lockdowns and consumer pull back.
And 2021 is continuing the trend. This week, Minneapolis-based Christopher & Banks Corp. filed for Chapter 11 protection and said it would close its 449 stores across 44 states.
Keri Jones, president and chief executive officer, said: “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken aggressive steps to protect our business while continuing to serve our customers in a healthy and safe environment. Despite the tremendous advancements we have made in executing our strategic plan, due to the financial distress resulting from the pandemic and its ongoing impact, we elected to initiate this process and pursue a potential sale of the business in whole or in part to position the company for the future.”
There are always a few retailers holding on and hoping the Christmas sales rush gives them a little more lifeline. Many of the big names that went into the pandemic on the edge fell quickly, including Neiman Marcus, J. Crew Group and J.C. Penney, and most of the other major players were able to shore up their balance sheets and carry on.
But midsized operations like Christopher & Banks were left somewhere in between. More are expected to succumb to bankruptcy sooner or later.
For now, the retailer is looking to live on online in some form and is in active discussions to sell its e-commerce platform through the bankruptcy process.
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