Anchor Blue Closes 46 Stores

Published on June 22, 2009 | Comments: 0
Bankrupt specialty apparel retailer Anchor Blue Retail Group is closing 46 underperforming stores as part of its overall restructuring plan. Anchor Blue is running a store closing sale with prices reduced as much as 40% at all 46 locations until inventory runs out. Liquidation/turnaround specialist Gordon Brothers Group is running the sale for Anchor Blue. The retailer seeks to improve operational performance by closing the stores. Anchor Blue initially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy May 28, 2009. Apparel company Levi Strauss, the largest unsecured creditor in Anchor Blue’s bankruptcy case, will purchase 73 of the retailer’s 81 MOST stores, which serve as outlets for Levi Strauss products. According to CoStar Tenant, Anchor Blue listed liabilities between $100 and $500 million in its bankruptcy filing, with Levi Strauss being owned $2.6 million. In June 2008, Anchor Blue laid off several managers and closed about 40 stores. Anchor Blue, which operates 177 mostly mall-based stores in southern and western states (before the sale to Levi Strauss), plans to remain open and restructure under Chapter 11 protection. Anchor Blue is the latest retailer to become part of two industry trends that have developed in the past year: regional retailers going bankrupt and apparel retailers having less resilience in the current tough economy than retailers of more essential goods, such as food. In the past couple of months, regional specialty apparel retailers Filene’s Basement and S&K Menswear have declared bankruptcy. Filene’s Basement was recently purchased by off-price apparel retailer Syms, while S&K is currently liquidating all merchandise and plans to close it doors for good. Other regional apparel and department store retailers who have gone bankrupt in the past year include Harold’s, Steve & Barry’s, Value City, and Mervyn’s.

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