Women’s apparel and shoe retailer Nine West Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday as traditional stores struggle to get back on their feet amid declining mall traffic.
The retailer, which also operates the Anne Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt brands and has already closed its stores, said it had secured bankruptcy financing to continue operating while it seeks to shed debt.
The company has reached a tentative deal to sell its Nine West and Bandolino footwear and handbag business to conglomerate Authentic Brands Group, which controls the brands of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali and others.
A bankruptcy judge would have to approve that deal, and it’s possible a more lucrative alternative could emerge.
Nine West products are sold in more than 1,200 locations. The company already closed its 71 standalone locations, spokesperson Ruth Pachman said in an email.
The sale and bankruptcy could position the retailer to emerge as a healthier company focused on several key brands, including Anne Klein.
But Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a perilous place, and it doesn’t always work out as executives hope. Look no further than Toys R Us, which filed for bankruptcy in September with hopes of surviving but recently moved to liquidate.