LK Bennett’s US arm files for bankruptcy & mulls store closures

LK Bennett US
// LK Bennett’s US arm asks for permission from bankruptcy court to begin closing down sales
// Fashion retailer had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week
// LK Bennett’s stores and online operation in the US would close unless a new buyer is found
// Retailer is still in the midst of an administration process back home in the UK

LK Bennett’s US stores and online operation are at risk after the fashion retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the country last week.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the US arm of the British fashion retailer is now seeking permission from the bankruptcy court to begin closing down sales in order to liquidate its stock.

LK Bennett was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week after revenues had been below expectations and its losses had widened.

It also reportedly listed liabilities of $32.5 million (£24.8 million).

The news comes as LK Bennett continues to field expressions of interest from potential new buyers at home in the UK, where the business fell into administration last month.

The Wall Street Journal said LK Bennett’s court filing indicated that its US-based stores and online operation would close “unless and until there is interest expressed in the purchase of the debtor or its assets in connection with” the UK proceedings.

It added that the store closures and “quickly eliminating the costs associated with its footprint will maximise the value of the debtor’s business”.

LK Bennett’s administrators from EY are expected to announce a new owner imminently.

Founder Linda Bennett has reportedly dropped out of the race, along with a Chinese franchise partner for the retailer whose bid had been tipped to win.

Other big names to have been linked with the LK Bennett’s bidding war include Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group’s Philip Day, and footwear retailer Dune.

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