BCBG Max Azria Closing 120 Stores, Reportedly Looking At Bankruptcy Options

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

Following a trend set by Macy’s, Wet SealThe Limited, and others, mall mainstay BCBG Max Azria plans to close 120 stores at shopping centers around the country, and may file for bankruptcy protection.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the high-end women’s apparel and accessories retailer will close 120 stores that are either unprofitable or have untenable lease agreements in coming weeks with some locations already hosting close-out sales.

The closing stores include the company’s BCBGMaxazria and BCBGGeneration locations, but not the retailer’s store-within-a-store concept housed in various Macy’s department stores.

A rep for the California-based company tells the Star Tribune that the closing stores represent less than a third of the chain’s U.S. Stores. However, it’s unclear how many stores the retailer operates in total. Bloomberg, which previously reported on unspecified closing, notes that there were once more than 570 BCBG branded stores in the world, including about 175 in the U.S.

“In order to remain viable, the company, like so many others in its industry, must realign its business to effectively compete in today’s shopping environment,” the company said.

Women’s Wear Daily, citing sources familiar with the company’s financials, reports that the planned closures come as the chain contemplates seeking bankruptcy counsel.

The sources say that the company is evaluating its options as it tries to restructure debts, including laying off more than 123 employees last year. A rep for BCBG Max Azria Group declined to provide comment to WWD on the bankruptcy rumors.

Consumerist has reached out to BCBG for more information on the closings and potential bankruptcy plan. We’ll update this post when we hear back.