Ascena will close most Justice stores, as well as select Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and Lou & Gray stores.
American women's clothing retailer Ascena has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Under the terms of the procedure, the company can carry out a complete reorganization in order to save the situation and stay on the market. Ascena has become another retailer that could not survive the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and is trying to reorganize its work through bankruptcy proceedings.
Ascena owns many well-known women's clothing stores, including Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey, Lane Bryant, Cacique, Catherines and Justice. It is the last brand that will have the largest number of closed outlets. The company also says some of its most popular brands, Ann Taylor and Loft, will also close, as will selected outlets for Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey. In total, the retailer operates more than 2,800 stores in the United States and other countries.
The exact number of stores that will be closed in the near future is not reported, the company only says that it will be a "significant" number. The fate of each retail outlet will be decided by the outcome of negotiations between Ascena and landlords. In cases where it is possible to agree on a deferred payment or obtain favorable conditions, the company will try to keep the store open. But stores in Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico are planned to be completely closed already at the first stage of restructuring and this applies to all brands of the company.
In its bankruptcy filing, Ascena said the company's debt is between $10 billion and $50 billion, with more than 100,000 creditors, mostly store landlords. Through the restructuring, the company plans to reduce its debt obligations by about a billion US dollars, and the company plans to sell the trademark rights to its plus-size clothing brand Catherines in the near future.