New York and Company could close all stores as its parent company files for bankruptcy due to COVID-19 impact

Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY
Published 11:16 a.m. ET July 13, 2020 | Updated 4:13 p.m. ET July 13, 2020


Women’s fashion retailer New York & Company could permanently close all of its stores or a significant portion of them in bankruptcy, parent company RTW Retailwinds, Inc. announced Monday.

RTW Retailwinds filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey and said in a news release that it has “launched a store closing and liquidation process.” 

Like other apparel retailers with a heavy commitment to shopping malls, the companyand its brands were grappling with declining foot traffic long before the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to an increase of retailers filing for bankruptcy. The coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19.

The Lucky Brand, J.C. Penney, Brooks Brothers, Sur La Table, Neiman Marcus, Tuesday Morning, GNC and J. Crew have all filed for Chapter 11 since May.

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“The combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have caused significant financial distress on our business, and we expect it to continue to do so in the future,” Sheamus Toal, RTW Retailwinds CEO and chief financial officer, said in the release. 

According to the release, the company “is evaluating any and all strategic alternatives, including the potential sale of its eCommerce business and related intellectual property.”

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The company’s portfolio includes branded merchandise from New York & Company, Fashion to Figure and Happy x Nature and collaborations with Eva Mendes, Gabrielle Union and Kate Hudson. The brands have approximately 378 retail and outlet locations in 32 states as well as online stores.

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New York & Company was founded in 1918 as Lerner Shops and changed its named to Lerner New York in 1992 before changing to New York & Company in 1995. The retailer was previously operated by Limited Brands, which is now known as L Brands, owner of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.

As many as 25,000 stores could shutter this year as businesses continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic, according to a recent report from Coresight Research.

Other retailers, who haven’t filed for bankruptcy, also plan to shutter locations, including Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom and Signet Jewelers, parent company of Kay, Zales and Jared.

Because of the pandemic, most retailers are handling liquidation or going-out-of-business sales differently. 

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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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