Women's clothing retailer Christopher & Banks Inc. is closing its entire store footprint, including four locations in southeastern Wisconsin.
The Plymouth, Minnesota-based company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has begun liquidation sales at its 449 brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S.
The company will close a total of 23 store locations in Wisconsin. Stores closing in the southeastern part of the state include Christopher & Banks stores at Brookfield Square in Brookfield, Germantown Plaza in Germantown and its outlet at Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets in Pleasant Prairie, in addition to its plus size store CJ Banks, also at Brookfield Square. Christopher & Banks has been around since 1956. The company's restructuring and wind-down of its brick-and-mortar operation comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the decline of traditional retail and rise of e-commerce.
Since the start of the pandemic, the company had taken "aggressive steps" to keep stores running safely, said Keri Jones, president and chief executive officer in a press release.
"Despite the tremendous advancements we have made in executing our strategic plan, due to the financial distress resulting from the pandemic and its ongoing impact, we elected to initiate this process and pursue a potential sale of the business in whole or in part to position the company for the future," said Jones.
The brand continues to sell women's apparel and accessories through its e-commerce site, christopherandbanks.com. The company is in talks with potential buyers for the platform as part of its restructuring.
In-store merchandise is now on sale for 40 to 60% off the original price. Store fixtures are also available for purchase. Store closing sales are being conducted by Northbrook, Illinois-based Hilco Merchant Resources LLC. Christopher & Banks joins a growing list of brick-and-mortar retail chains that have gone out of business or significantly downsized in recent years, including Shopko, Macy's, Victoria's Secret, J.C. Penney, Sears, Abercrombie and Boston Store, just to name a few.