J. Crew files for bankruptcy as preppy retailer succumbs to COVID-19 fallout, Retail News, ET Retail

By : Mike Spector

J. Crew Group Inc filed for bankruptcy defense on Monday with a program to hand above handle to loan providers, including to a listing of brick-and-mortar retailers pushed to the brink by widespread keep closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New York-based mostly chain, acknowledged for preppy garments at occasions worn by former initially woman Michelle Obama, filed for bankruptcy in a Virginia federal courtroom with an settlement to reduce its about $1.65 billion of financial debt in exchange for ceding possession to collectors. It is the initially significant retailer to are unsuccessful throughout the pandemic.

Anchorage Money Group, Blackstone Group Inc’s GSO Money Companions and Davidson Kempner Money Administration maintain important parts of J. Crew’s senior financial debt and are in line to take handle of the business.

They are also offering about $400 million of contemporary funding to assist J. Crew’s operations, even though it navigates Chapter eleven bankruptcy proceedings, the business explained in a assertion.

In addition to cancelling financial debt, J. Crew programs to shut retailers, though the remaining selection it programs to shutter has not nevertheless been identified, a man or woman familiar with the issue explained.

The coronavirus outbreak pressured the business to quickly shut its approximately 500 J. Crew, J. Crew manufacturing unit and Madewell retailers. In addition, the economic fallout and market turmoil stemming from the community wellness crisis resulted in J. Crew shelving programs for an first community presenting of its Madewell business.

Madewell will keep on being component of J.Crew Group and Libby Wadle will keep on in her part as Chief Executive Officer of Madewell, the business added.

J. Crew experienced planned to use proceeds from the IPO to reduce its financial debt relatively than use bankruptcy to address its strained funds, the man or woman familiar with the issue explained.

Ahead of the pandemic, J. Crew was now having difficulties along with other regular brick-and-mortar retailers to compete amid a client change to on-line procuring.

It also experienced immediately after a strategic misstep of increasing rates that turned off some shoppers. Talks in 2014 to promote J. Crew to Japan’s Fast Retailing Co, the owner of the Uniqlo attire chain, fell apart.

J. Crew was taken non-public in 2011 by TPG and Leonard Green & Companions in a about $three billion leveraged buyout, and their investments are now expected to be wiped out, the man or woman familiar with the issue explained.

The business experienced averted bankruptcy in 2017 in a offer with collectors that decreased full financial debt and pushed out because of dates on obligations.

But its struggles ongoing. Millard “Mickey” S. Drexler, a longtime chief of the chain acknowledged for his manner acumen who also at just one place helmed Gap Inc, conceded he misjudged how technological developments would alter the retail landscape.

He stepped aside as J. Crew’s main government in 2017, and past 12 months relinquished his seat as board chairman.

J. Crew outlined both belongings and liabilities in the selection of $1 billion to $ten billion in the voluntary Chapter eleven doc.