Report: Lucky Brand files for bankruptcy, will close stores

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** FOR STORY SLUGGED AUSTERIDAD MINORISTAS ** FILE – In this July 9, 2009 file photo, shoppers walk into a Lucky Brand store with a discount sign posted at a mall in San Jose, Calif. Beset by high unemployment and limited access to credit, shoppers have cut back and are limiting most of their purchases only to essentials or the best deals. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Lucky Brand is the latest retailer to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bloomberg reports the jeans and apparel company, which has about 200 stores in North America, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday and said it plans to close 13 stores.

The company, based in in Los Angeles, said it plans to sell the equity-backed business to SPARC Group LLC, which operates brands including Aéropostale and Nautica. A brand manager will acquire its intellectual property.

Bloomberg reports the company had to undergo restructuring due to the pandemic.

“Despite the company’s best efforts and support of its economic stakeholders, the company’s restructuring efforts were derailed by a combination of the economic impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in extended closures of its retail stores, and limited liquidity, which diminished access to new inventory from its vendors,” Mark Renzi, chief restructuring officer, said in court documents.

Stores will remain open during the Chapter 11 process, and the company plans to seek other bidders to get a higher price.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted sales across all channels,” Matthew Kaness, Lucky Brand’s interim chief executive officer, said in the statement. “While we are optimistic about the reopening of stores and our customers’ return, the business has yet to recover fully.”

As of Friday, Lucky Brand had 112 specialty retail stores and 98 outlet stores in North America. The company had about $181.97 million in funded debt, according to the Bloomberg report.

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