BCBG Max Azria Group became the latest victim of a brutal period in retail, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after it had already announced plans to shutter 120 stores and lay off 123 employees, according to several media reports.
The company said its chapter 11 case could take the form of a standalone restructuring, a sale or a merger, with plans to wrap it up whatever the outcome in six months. Its remaining stores will stay open during the bankruptcy process.
At the same time BCBG Max Azria has received commitment for $45 million in new financing to fund restructuring efforts, including a focus on digital, ecommerce and wholesale and licensing agreements.
“The steps we are taking now, to address the shift in customer shopping patterns and the growth of online shopping, will allow us to focus on our partner relationships, digital, ecommerce, selected retail locations and wholesale and licensing arrangements,” Marty Staff, Acting Interim CEO, said in a statement. “The Chapter 11 filing will further aid the implementation of these steps and overall strategy while we explore opportunities to recapitalize the company and profitably expand our international footprint.”
Unable to pivot quickly enough, BCBG Max Azria fell victim to fast fashion chains like Zara and H&M, as well as the growing number of ecommerce apparel options. It was founded in 1989 by Tunisian fashion designer Max Azria, who was also the company’s CEO until last year.