The Limited Is Probably Shutting Down, But Won’t Say So

Image courtesy of Phillip Pessar

We’ve been sharing the news that women’s clothing chain The Limited is possibly doomed, even warning anyone still holding gift cards for the chain to use them up before they’re worthless. Your local store will probably have already closed before the company ever files for bankruptcy.

The chain’s hometown paper, the Columbus Dispatch, noted yesterday that company officials have “refused” to discuss its status. This has led to some absurd exchanges with local media outlets. The North Carolina Business Journal inquired about its local store, which has “everything must go!” signage and all merchandise marked down to 75% off. The parent company declined to comment when asked whether that store (or the rest of the chain) is closing.

What we do know is that there are a lot of those deep-discount sales going on at stores across the country, and that there are no returns on merchandise. The company began layoffs at its headquarters at the beginning of December, saying at the time that “the combination of sales misses and the level of existing financial obligations will require that the company be sold or we will have to wind down our operations due to an anticipated lack of operating capital.”

In other words: they’re broke, and a buyer willing to take on the company’s debt hasn’t materialized. Yet the company still hasn’t filed for bankruptcy, perhaps waiting until the calendar flips over to 2017. The chain could reorganize and survive as a smaller version of itself, or liquidate and go out of business.

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