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USA TODAY

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Jan 14, 2021
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Apparel retailer Christopher & Banks, which caters to women over 40, is the latest clothing chain to file for bankruptcy protection amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minneapolis-based company announced Thursday it has filed for Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey and said it in a news release it “expects to close a significant portion, if not all, of its brick-and-mortar stores.”

The company says it has launched a “store closing and liquidation process” and “is in active discussion with potential buyers” for the sale of its online business and related assets.

“Since the start of the COVID pandemic, we have taken aggressive steps to protect our business while continuing to serve our customers in a healthy and safe environment,” Keri Jones, president and CEO, said in a statement. “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.”

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The bankruptcy is not a surprise. The company announced on Dec. 10 that it hired strategic advisers including B. Riley Securities Inc. and was working to refinance debt and explore alternatives.

In June the company obtained a $10 million loan under the Paycheck Protection Program in June.

As of Jan. 13, the company said it operated 449 stores in 44 states, including 315 Missy, Petite, Women stores, 76 outlet stores, 31 Christopher & Banks stores, and 28 C.J. Banks stores.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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