Reitmans files for creditor protection

The Canadian chain boasts 259 stores in Canada and owns the RW & Co., Addition-Elle, Penningtons and Thyme brands

Another major retailer is unable to pay all of its bills.

Today, Reitmans (Canada) Limited announced that its hoping to complete a restructuring plan under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act so that it can remain in business.

Its application will be heard in Quebec Superior Court today.

“Filing for protection under the CCAA is truly the hardest decision we’ve had to make as an organization in our almost 100 years of history, but this pandemic has left us no choice,” president and CEO Stephen Reitman said. “We believe that this is the only course of action to ensure we remain successful in the future.”

Throughout this process, its ecommerce sites will remain fully operational.

On March 17, Reitmans closed all of its stores across Canada, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its website lists dates later this month when they will reopen.

The company employs 680 people. It operates 259 Reitmans stores, including 16 in the GTA, and 106 Penningtons stores. In addition, it has 80 RW & Co. stores, 77 Addition Elle stores, and 54 Thyme Maternity stores.

For the fiscal year ending February 1, 2020, Reitmans posted a net loss of $87.4 million on sales of $869.5 million. The previous year, it recorded a net profit of $6.8 million on sales of $923 million.

Reitmans is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Other retailers that have filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020 include J. Crew Group, True Religion, Pier 1, Aldo, and JCPenney.

Gap Inc.—which operates the Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy—has not sought bankruptcy protection but it is refusing to pay rent to its landlords for stores ordered closed due to COVID-19.

This story originally appeared in the Georgia Straight.

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