Another retailer has fallen victim to COVID-19.
Christopher & Banks Corp., a specialty women’s apparel retailer, announced Thursday that it has filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court.
Keri Jones, president and CEO, said since the start of the COVID-10 pandemic, the company had taken aggressive steps to protect its business while continuing to serve its 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,” Jones said.
The company has filed customary motions with the bankruptcy court that will authorize, upon Bankruptcy Court approval, the company’s ability to maintain operations in the ordinary course of business, including, among other things, the payment of employee wages and benefits without interruption, payment of suppliers and vendors in the normal course of business, and the use of cash collateral.
In a press release issued Thursday, the company said it expects to close a significant portion, if not all, of its brick-and-mortar stores and has launched a store closing and liquidation process. The store, however, will continue to operate its business in the ordinary course in the near term; and the company is in active discussion with potential buyers for the sale of its eCommerce platform and related assets and expects to file the appropriate motion shortly.
A spokesperson for the Norfolk location of Christopher & Banks declined to offer a comment on the status of the future of the Sunset Plaza Mall-based store.