Christopher & Banks to Sell Assets for $25M
Plymouth-based women’s retailer Christopher & Banks has agreed to sell all of its assets — including its retail stores and e-commerce platform — to an affiliate of an Illinois-based liquidator for nearly $25 million.
In a Jan. 28 filing with the SEC, the retailer said it reached an agreement to sell its assets to ALCC LLC, an affiliate of Northbrook, Illinois-based Hilco Merchant Resources, a retail industry liquidator. Christopher & Banks had already been working with Hilco on closing down its retail operations since the retailer declared bankruptcy last month.
In late January, the retailer told Minnesota officials that it will be laying off 361 employees at its corporate headquarters in Plymouth.
The sale to Hilco isn’t a done deal yet, though. In the SEC filing, Christopher & Banks officials noted that the sale is subject to final approval from a U.S. bankruptcy court in New Jersey. The company is aiming for a bankruptcy hearing in late February. What’s more, the retailer has the option to sell its assets to another buyer. Any new bids must be at least $1 million above ALCC’s offer, according to the SEC filing.
Also in late January, ALCC already made a stalking horse bid for Christopher & Banks’ e-commerce business, Retail Dive reported.
Christopher & Banks is just one of many retailers that have fallen on hard times during the pandemic; in 2020, dozens of other retailers also declared bankruptcy amid sharply declining mall traffic. But it’s also worth noting that some of the company’s problems predate the pandemic. In Christopher & Banks’ 2019 annual report, the company noted that “fundamental shifts in the retail industry and the competitive environment” would likely have a big impact on revenue down the road. And, indeed, e-commerce giants like Amazon have long been poaching business from brick-and-mortar shops for years now.