After much speculation, BCBG Max Azria Group LLC announced today that it has sought Chapter 11 protection.
The company, founded by designer Max Azria in 1989, said it has obtained $45 million in new financing and also filed a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization on Tuesday. The plan includes a possible sale, merger or similar transaction. BCBG, which had reportedly hoped to avoid taking the bankruptcy path, expects to complete its reorganization within six months. Stores will remain open during this process, according to the firm.
The company said in February that it would close 120 retail stores as part of its restructuring efforts. BCBG is also taking steps to close its freestanding stores in Canada, and consolidate its operations in Europe and Japan. (The company had more than 570 retail boutiques worldwide and 175 locations in the U.S.)
Over the past few months, the Vernon, Calif.-based fashion footwear and apparel maker has laid off more than 100 employees as it seeks to stay afloat.
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“BCBG is an iconic brand that launched the contemporary sector over 28 years ago,” said Marty Staff, acting interim CEO, in a release. “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, e-commerce, selected retail locations, and wholesale and licensing arrangements.”