Plus Size Retailer Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

After reporting three consecutive years in losses, Urban Brands Inc., the parent company of the Ashley Stewart chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 21, 2010.

Ashley Stewart is known throughout the country for their flair and trendy yet colorful clothing.  They opened their doors in New York in 1991 as a place for plus size women to shop.  Over the years they have expanded to over 200 stores across the country and given women a newfound confidence by selling clothing that other retailers wouldn’t offer.

According to court papers, the very popular clothing retailer started to experience economic problems around 2008 when they saw a shift in sales.  Despite problems with the brand, they intend to continue operating under stalking horse bidder New Ashley Stewart LLC, which has offered to buy the assets.

Although Plus-size African American women ranked the Ashley Stewart chain as their No. 3 favorite place to shop, Urban Brands reported a loss of $28.6 million in 2009, and sales fell to $174.6 million from $179.6 million the year before.

In its bankruptcy filing, Urban Brands estimated assets inthe range of $10 to $50 million and liabilities in the range of$100 to $500 million.

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