chapter 11: January 2009 Archives

Hart Schaffner Marx

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Hartmarx, the maker of clothing brand Hart Schaffner Marx, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the increasingly common refrain of reduced demand and poor credit availability. The company noted sharp dropoffs at luxury price points. Hartmarx, which possesses licenses for brands such as Pierre Cardin, hopes to continue operations during bankruptcy proceedings.


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Legendary auto company Checker Motors, which once made cars like the Checker Cab, filed for bankruptcy protection due largely to declining sales at General Motors. Checker, which in recent decades has focused on stamped and welded car parts, is planning to reorganize and continue operating.

Black Angus Steakhouse

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ARG Enterprises, owner of Black Angus Steakhouse restaurants, cited its locations as a primse factor in a bankruptcy filing announced this week. Black Angus has 69 outlets in seven states that are "some of the areas hardest hit by the mortgage crisis," according to an ARG executive. Buyouts and store closings are not yet formalized.

Nortel filing

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Nortel Networks filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of declining sales. Nortel is the first major tech company to go bankrupt in the economic crisis and a potential bellwether. The company, which is based in Toronto, made the filing in Delaware but is seeking protection in Canada as well.

Gottschalk's filing

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Gottschalk's, a department store chain that dates to 1904, filed for bankruptcy and is considering options that include selling the business. The San Francisco-based retailer has 58 stores in the western United States. Gottschalk's expects to continue normal business operations during its restructuring.

Bankruptcies in the big city

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New York magazine has an article in this week's issue on the increase in bankruptcy filings for businesses in the nation's largest city. The angle: many of the chapter 11 filings, rather than reposition the filer for a restructuring, are instead precursors to going out of business. "There is not financing available for the reorganization process," says a lawyer in the article. A music studio and car dealership owner are quoted as wondering how they can possibly stay open.

Shane Co. bankrupt

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Family-owned jewelry chain Shane Co. filed for bankruptcy protection. Shane has 23 outlets across 14 states and has been in business since the early 1970s. Little specific information is available yet.

Searle files Chapter 11

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Women's apparel manufacturer and retailer Searle Blatt filed for bankruptcy protection last week, alongside an affiliate company called Tom Jones Inc. The company, which has been open since the 1960s, operates seven well-known stores in New York, Tom Jones Inc. Searle Blatt cited the economy's impact on debt as the reason for the filing. Searle has not yet determined whether store closings will be an outcome of the filing.

Equal sweetener: no calories, no credit...

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Merisant Worldwide filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today, shortly after its credit rating was downgraded to junk status. Merisant produces Equal, the blue-packeted artificial sweetener, and other products. The privately-held company has not disclosed whether the filing will affect manufacturing or distribution.

Blue Tulip liquidating

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Gift and entertainment retailer Blue Tulip is closing all its stores this month as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The chainlet, which operated 24 stores, cited the economic downturn as the usual culprit.

Against All Odds bankrupt

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The unfortunately named men's retailer Against All Odds filed for bankruptcy protection "in the best interests" of all parties yesterday. The 14-year-old company has 70 stores across the country.

Waterford Wedgwood

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Legendary crystal and ceramics manufacturer Waterford Wedgwood was placed into administration and receivership in the United Kingdom and Ireland yesterday. The move, similar to chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, reflects stock market conditions and a failed round of fundraising for a planned restructuring.

Waterford Crystal, which dates to 1783, has been operating in its modern guise since 1947; Wedgwood (which traces its own history to 1759) was purchased by the previous Waterford Glass Group in 1986. The company's US and other subsidiaries are not currently affected by the moves in the UK and Ireland. Three US firms are discussing financial options for the company today.

Timely Demise tracks the retail industry as it changes with our unprecedented economic environment. By David Wertheimer. Did I miss something? Drop me a line.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the chapter 11 category from January 2009.

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chapter 11: February 2009 is the next archive.

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