Fashion giant closing two stores in Burnaby’s biggest mall amid bankruptcy

The retail bloodbath continues in Burnaby as a clothing giant is set to cut ties with its stores in the city.

The parent company of Ann Taylor, Loft and Justice says it will close all of its clothing stores in Canada.

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There are Loft and Justice stores in Metropolis at Metrotown, Burnaby’s biggest mall.

The closures are part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and restructuring the Mahwah, New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group Inc. has begun in the wake of COVID-19.

According to their websites, there are four Ann Taylor, nine Loft and 37 Justice stores in Canada.

Ascena operates 2,800 apparel shops internationally, but says it will begin its restructuring by closing its entire footprint in Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

loft store burnaby
The closed Loft store in Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby. @Metrotowner photo

In the U.S., where Ascena has most of its stores, a "significant" number will close, but the company will try to continue operating an undisclosed number of locations.

Ascena is able to keep some locations in the U.S. open because it has reached an agreement with creditors that will reduce its debt by $1 billion and the company has received $150 million in new financing.

Ascena and certain of its subsidiaries have received approvals from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for its “First Day” motions related to the company’s voluntary Chapter 11 petitions filed on July 23.

Gary Muto, Chief Executive Officer of Ascena stated in a news release, “We are pleased to have received prompt approval of these First Day motions, which will enable us to continue providing our associates with wages and benefits, maintain our outstanding relationship with our vendor community and serve our customers across our brand portfolio with fashion, inspiration and meaningful experiences every day. We are appreciative of the strong support from our lenders to help mark a new start for our company. By entering into a comprehensive plan to deleverage our balance sheet, right-size our operations and inject new capital into the business, we will be better positioned to deliver profitable growth of our iconic brands and drive value for all of our stakeholders.”  

This news follows a series of retail store closures in Burnaby, including the Microsoft store at Metropolis at Metrotown, as well as Addition Elle, Thyme Maternity, three DavidsTea locations and others.

  • With files from the Canadian Press

 

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