NYC’s Searle Files Chapter 11

January 12, 2009 • Fashion


Another one bites the dust? Here we go…expect many more retailers to file for bankruptcy in the coming months. Next up? NYC’s Searle. Known for its coats, has filed for bankruptcy court protection according to WWD.

The filing on Wednesday in a Manhattan bankruptcy court, under the name
Searle Blatt & Co. Ltd., was a voluntary Chapter 11 petition. Also
filing was an affiliate firm, Tom Jones Inc. The filing listed assets
of between $1 million and $10 million, and liabilities in the same

“The debtors have been adversely
impacted by the recent economic downturn,” Searle Blatt, president of
both debtors, said in an affidavit. “Sales have dropped dramatically
over the past 12 months. The holiday season, historically the high
point of the year, did not reverse the trend, and the debtors were
forced to reorganize.” Blatt said the debtors intend to continue
operating their businesses.

“Everything is being reevaluated,
but we haven’t made any decisions yet,” said Rick Weinstein, Searle’s
director of sales and marketing. Asked whether Searle would consider
shedding any of its locations, Weinstein said: “We are considering

Retail experts predicted a spate of bankruptcies
this month, following a dismal holiday season. “I am not surprised,”
said Walter Loeb, president of Loeb Associates. “Bills had to be paid
by Jan. 10. People that are highly leveraged may not find it possible
to pay and seek court protection.”

Founded as T. Jones in the early Sixties by Blatt,
the company changed its name to Searle in the early Eighties. The
retail expansion occurred over the next two decades. Searle now has 7 stores.

Since Christmas, Searle’s traffic has been strong, but the could be attributed to the fact that  merchandise has been marked down as much as 80% “A
smart retailer finds the price at which the merchandise will move,”
Weinstein said. “The customer is responding. But, it could be too late…

Source: WWD
Photo: Glam

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