Fashion firm J Crew files for bankruptcy – first big US retailer to collapse

Fashion firm J Crew files for bankruptcy – first big US retailer to collapse

The fashion group’s creditors will take control of the company in exchange for cancelling debts of $1.65bn (£1.3bn). They are also providing about $400m (£320m) of fresh financing to J.Crew’s operations.

There will be store closures however the number has not been confirmed.

It comes after the firm’s 500 shops were temporarily shut in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Anchorage Capital Group, Blackstone Group Inc’s GSO Capital Partners and Davidson Kempner Capital Management will take control of the group, which also owns denim brand Madewell.

J.Crew chief executive officer Jan Singer said: “This agreement with our lenders represents a critical milestone in the ongoing process to transform our business with the goal of driving long-term, sustainable growth for J.Crew and further enhancing Madewell’s growth momentum.

“Throughout this process, we will continue to provide our customers with the exceptional merchandise and service they expect from us, and we will continue all day-to-day operations, albeit under these extraordinary COVID-19-related circumstances.

“As we look to reopen our stores as quickly and safely as possible, this comprehensive financial restructuring should enable our business and brands to thrive for years to come.”

Kevin Ulrich, chief executive officer of Anchorage Capital Group, added: “J.Crew and Madewell are two classic American brands with deeply loyal customers.

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Hash Ladha, chief executive of Oasis Warehouse, said: “This is a situation that none of us could have predicted a month ago, and comes as shocking and difficult news for all of us.

“We as a management team have done everything we can to try and save the iconic brands that we love.”

Other casualties of the coronavirus lockdown include Flybe.

Carluccio’s and BrightHouse have also closed their doors.

Debenhams has entered administration for the second time in a year.

And Laura Ashley blamed coronavirus as it filed for administration in March.

Published at Mon, 04 May 2020 10:47:00 +0000