JOAN & DAVID SAID NEAR BANKRUPTCY

Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — Joan & David, the well-known but financially struggling shoe and ready-to-wear wholesaler and retailer, may be close to filing for bankruptcy, sources said Thursday.
The company has long been up for sale. It reportedly has been negotiating with vendors to stretch out payments and talking to landlords about renegotiating leases. Sources said the company overexpanded in the U.S. and abroad by opening scores of freestanding and in-store shops.
A bankruptcy typically enables retailers to walk away from leases with minimal penalty. A bankruptcy could also spur a sale of the company at a cut-rate price.
Joan & David is run by David Helpern and his wife Joan Helpern, who designs the merchandise.
“No comment,” was how the senior David Helpern responded Thursday, when asked if the company was about to go bankrupt.
Asked if the company was still looking to be sold, Helpern said, “We are in negotiations.”
Sources have estimated Joan & David’s volume as between $80 million to $100 million.
David Helpern, Jr. reportedly now runs the day-to-day operations.

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