The apparel retailer is also closing some 120 stores, mostly in the U.S., according to the Star Tribune. Those locations are holding liquidation sales.
BCBG previously said it plans to reduce its store count and refocus operations on in-store boutiques while also increasing its online presence and licensing initiatives, spokesperson Seth Lubove of Sitrick & Company told Retail Dive last month. A request for comment from Retail Dive on these latest developments was not immediately returned.
Founded in 1989 by Tunisian fashion designer Max Azria (who was also CEO until last year), BCBG counts the likes of Angelina Jolie, Rachel Bilson, Eva Mendes, Kate Winslet, Victoria Beckham, Alicia Keys and Catherine Zeta-Jones among its fans. But the rise of e-commerce and changing consumer expectations, including new pressures to speed up the supply chain to slake the thirst for “see now, buy now” releases, have taken a toll, Lubove previously noted to Retail Dive.
“Like so many other great brands, BCBG has been negatively impacted by the growth in online sales and shifts in customer shopping patterns and, as a result, has too large a physical retail footprint,” Lubove said in an email last month. “In order to remain viable, the company — like so many others in its industry — must re-align its business to effectively compete in today’s shopping environment.”
BCBG is "looking at a variety of options to accomplish the restructuring of the company," Lubove added. That increasingly seems to include bankruptcy protection, although the retailer had previously said it was trying to avoid that. BCBG is working with AlixPartners LP as it looks at its possibilities, Women's Wear Daily notes.
BCBG Max Azria Group, which has more than 570 boutiques globally (including more than 175 in the U.S.), is just the latest in a series of retailers kicking off 2017 by shuttering stores and, possibly, filing for Chapter 11 protections. In the wake of a disastrous holiday shopping season, Macy’s announced Jan. 4 it could slash more than 10,000 jobs as it closes 68 stores and reorganizes its remaining locations. A day later, Sears Holdings said it will shutter an additional 150 unprofitable locations, including 108 Kmart and 42 Sears stores, in order to curtail losses.
Meanwhile, The Limited’s time as a brick-and-mortar merchant has run out: The apparel retailer closed all 250 stores nationwide and filed for bankruptcy last month. And unable to find a buyer or draw in new capital, teen apparel retailer Wet Seal last week filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in 25 months.