The womenswear group behind ann taylor has become the newest us retailer to file for bankruptcy, saying it could close 1,600 shops after the coronavirus shutdown left it struggling to handle debt from an ill-fated acquisition spree.

Ascena retail whoever portfolio spans the childrens garments expert justice, plus-sized retailer catherines, and ann taylor, known for decades for dressing professional united states ladies hopes to wipe out $1bn worth of debt within the section 11 restructuring.

The bankruptcy associated with clothes conglomerate, which has practically 40,000 staff, may be the newest indication of distress among discretionary us merchants while they try to cure lockdown.

Ascena said on thursday so it planned to wind down the brick-and-mortar operations of catherines and its lou & gray premium fashion brand name, including nearly all of justice.

The organization also promises to close some shops run under other brands. about 1,600 shops, or maybe more than half the team total, have already been focused for closing, although ascena stated the ultimate number is based in the amount of rent concessions it may negotiate with landlords.

While the ascena name has a low profile outside the business, the team produced $5.5bn in sales a year ago. the company traces its roots back once again to a wear-to-work clothes shop, dressbarn, established by business owner roslyn jaffe in 1962.

The clothing company extended aggressively inside following decade, purchasing up companies such as the youthful maurices, women specialists tween brands and justice, and plus-sized charming shoppes. it reorganised as ascena in 2011.

It joined up with the ranks of this largest womenswear stores 5 years ago when it hit a package to obtain ann, mother or father business of ann taylor, loft and lou & grey, for around $2.16bn, providing it a total quantity of shops close to 5,000 at its top.

But the business struggled to conform to the increase of online shopping and produced consecutive several years of losses.

Craig johnson, president of the consumer growth partners consultancy, said the business had embarked on its purchases in the same way the ladies's speciality market started initially to plateau.even closing hundreds of shops had not been enough to rebalance offer and need, he stated.

Ascena this past year marketed maurices and wound down dressbarn, and coronavirus included with the stress, with product sales in its most-recently launched one-fourth diving 45 % from just last year.

Inside pandemic, it drew down from the revolving credit contract and withheld repayments for some landlords and vendors. but it was kept incapable of deal with its debt burden, which totalled $1.6bn ahead of the personal bankruptcy.

Loan providers have actually decided to supply $150m in bankruptcy funding. over two-thirds of secured term lenders were promoting an arrangement to lessen its debt by about $1bn, in accordance with ascena.

Gary muto, chief executive, stated in a declaration the restructuring had been a fresh begin for the company.

Ascena said it had hit an understanding to sell the intellectual residential property of catherines to city chic collective, an australian fashion organization.

The company said its companies would carry on investing through the personal bankruptcy process. about 95 % of their stores have reopened through the shutdown.