Charming Charlie’s name lives on.
The fashion accessories retailer’s intellectual property sold for $1.125 million in an auction last week, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware. Along with its trademark, the deal also includes Charming Charlie’s mailing lists and loyalty program.
Founder Charlie Chanaratsopon’s real estate investment firm, CJS Group LP, emerged as the winning bidder, with the transaction awaiting approval from a federal judge.
The sale marked a silver lining for the Houston-based chain, which first filed for Chapter 11 protection in December 2017 at the height of digital disruption and the so-called retail apocalypse. (It exited in April 2018.) However, its go-forward plan, including the closure of 100 stores, wasn’t enough to keep challenges at bay.
Charming Charlie Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy again in July, revealing plans to shutter its remaining 261 stores across the country — now all closed — as well as halt online sales. Right now, the company’s website informs shoppers that it is no longer accepting orders.
Over the past three or so years, a bevy of fashion firms have made their way to bankruptcy court after grappling with hefty debt loads, the shift to e-commerce and their own failures to evolve to a changing retail landscape. In court documents, Charming Charlie wrote that it had faced “significant headwinds, given the continued decline of the brick-and-mortar retail industry.”
While some succumbed to their bankruptcies, other companies managed to use Chapter 11 to slash debt, restructure their businesses and emerge stronger.
Nine West and Bandolino as well as Gymboree’s brands, for example, have enjoyed a second life: Authentic Brands Group snapped up the former two brands for $340 million last year, with plans to expand Nine West’s and Bandolino’s product categories. Gymboree, on the other hand, sold its Gymboree and Crazy 8 labels to The Children’s Place for $76 million and Janie and Jack to Gap for $35 million.
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