NEW YORK — The financially troubled Brooks Fashion Stores Inc. will close its entire chain of 238 stores in mid-July.
The moderate-price women’s chain, based here, entered Chapter 11 for the second time in five years in June 1993, and since then closed 300 stores and reworked its fashion mix in an attempt to turn around its fortunes. Brooks reported an operating loss of $20.2 million in the year ended Jan. 29 after losing $16.6 million the previous year. Sales last year slipped to $230 million from $334 million in 1992.
On May 4, the retailer won bankruptcy court approval to run going-out-of-business sales. However, the company didn’t start the sales because it wanted to find a buyer. Failing to find one, it started running going-out-of-business sales about two weeks ago. According to a deal between Brooks and the liquidator, the going-out-business sales are guaranteed to raise a minimum of 30 cents on the dollar. Inventory is valued at about $50 million. Keen Realty has been retained to sell Brooks’ leases.
A disclosure statement, and a liquidation plan involving leases, equipment and other assets besides merchandise, are expected to be filed with the court this week or next. Approval of the filings are anticipated by the middle of October.