- Independent Pet Partners, the parent company of Chuck & Don’s, Loyal Companion, Kriser’s and Natural Pawz, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 5. The company asked the bankruptcy court to approve over $9 million in debtor-in-possession financing from its current lenders to support and safeguard its business throughout the bankruptcy proceedings.
- As part of the restructuring, the company is exiting its Loyal Companion and Natural Pawz brands and shutting down its existing stores on the East Coast, Texas and California, the company said in a LinkedIn post. The company will continue to run under its Chuck & Don’s and Kriser’s brands.
- The retailer began liquidating 93 of its stores on Feb. 3 and will continue that process into the latter part of February. Independent Pet Partners said it is “optimistic” that some of its locations, as well as its Natural Pawz brand, would have new owners soon.
After filing for bankruptcy, Independent Pet Partners is on a path to secure buyers.
The company filed a motion on Monday to approve the private sale of some assets to PSP Stores, or Pet Supplies Plus, which is owned by Franchise Group. In a letter of intent, Pet Supplies Plus says it will acquire the leases for 20 Loyal Companion store locations as well as the stores’ inventory, furniture, fixtures and equipment. Pet Supplies Plus in late 2020 announced it would acquire some Pet Valu stores after that retailer announced it would wind down its U.S. operations.
Independent Pet Partners also filed a motion on Friday to sell 16 locations (six Kriser’s and 10 Loyal Companion stores) in a private sale to Pet Pros. On the same day, it also filed a motion to approve the sale of eight Kriser’s locations and 16 Natural Pawz stores, all of which are in Texas, to NP Acquisition. NP Acquisition is tied to the former owner of the Natural Pawz brand.
“This change allows us to create a stronger foundation for our team and our pet parent communities in our core go-forward brands and markets,” Independent Pet Partners wrote on LinkedIn. “This includes Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas, Wisconsin and Illinois under our Chuck & Don’s and Kriser’s brands.”
Following the early COVID-19 pandemic boom, other pet retailers appear to be facing financial difficulties. Petco saw its Q3 net revenues increase by 4% to $1.5 billion, but its net income dropped by 61% to $19.9 million compared to $51.5 million in 2021. Bark, an online pet retailer, announced last week that it laid off 126 employees and will cut back its use of third-party vendors, contractors and consultants.
Multiple companies in the retail space, including Tuesday Morning, Serta Simmons, Party City, and Morphe’s parent company, Forma Brands, have all filed for bankruptcy since the start of the year.