Several Meriden mall stores face bankruptcy, closure

Several Meriden mall stores face bankruptcy, closure

reporter photo

MERIDEN — Several chain stores at the Westfield Meriden Mall continue to deal with bankruptcies and closures in an ever-changing retail environment.  

Charlotte Russe, on the upper level of the mall, is one of 100 stores the chain is closing after Charlotte Russe Holdings Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on Feb. 3. 

An assistant manager said they were notified about two weeks ago, and shelves were emptying quickly in the store’s 20 to 45 percent liquidation sale this week. 

The company was acquired in 1996 by the investment firm of SKM -Saunders Karp & Megrue. SKM took Charlotte Russe public in 1999 until Advent International acquired it in 2009.

Payless ShoeSource Inc. is also planning to close all its stores in the United States in anticipation of filing for bankruptcy again, a company spokeswoman said in a statement Friday. 

“Payless will begin liquidation sales at its U.S. and Puerto Rico stores on February 17, 2019, and is winding down its e-commerce operations,” the spokeswoman, Lauren Jeffords, said. “We expect all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May. This process does not affect the Company’s franchise operations or its Latin American stores, which remain open for business as usual.”

Reuters and The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the retailer is closing at least 2,000 stores when it files for bankruptcy this month. It would be the largest-ever liquidation by a retailer, The Journal said.

Payless first filed for bankruptcy in 2017. Going-out-of-business sales could begin in the next week, Reuters reported. But there’s a “small chance,” that a buyer could purchase the chain after it goes bankrupt.

On Twitter, Payless has been replying to questions from customers with “Our stores & are open and doing business as usual. We cannot provide information on specific store closings.”

Payless employs 18,000 people worldwide. There were no closure signs at the mall store on Friday. Payless also a store in the Kohl’s Plaza on Route 5 in Wallingford. A store manager referred all questions to the retailers corporate office. 

Things Remembered, on the mall’s first floor, could soon be a memory. 

The Highland Heights, Ohio-based retailer is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and close most of its 400 stores, according to a report by Reuters.

Things Remembered, Inc., which sells personalized gifts and merchandise, announced Feb. 6 it had an agreement to sell most of its business to Enesco, LLC a global retailer of giftware, home décor, and accessories.

A store closing sign was in the window at Things Remembered Friday but an employee, who asked not to be identified, said management had not yet received word of an official closing.

“Keep your fingers crossed,” she said.

Store merchandise was discounted 75 percent to 80 percent. 

Children’s clothing and accessories store The Children’s Place announced it would be closing 300 locations by 2020.

In fiscal 2017, the company reported net income of $85 million, down from a five-year high of $102 million the previous year. 

The retailer is still working toward a goal of closing 300 stores by 2020 and has a little more than 100 stores to go, Forbes reported. No closing list was available. There were no closing signs in the Westfield store window Friday.

Sears, one of three Westfield anchors, closed on Jan. 31. 

Mall representatives could not be reached for comment Friday.


Twitter: @Cconnbiz


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