Is Christopher & Banks going out of business?

Christopher & Banks has gone out of business, as a result of being one of the hardest-hit retailers because its market did not have a need for clothing during the pandemic.

In January 2021, it was made official that women’s apparel retailer, Christopher & Banks, was going out of business. According to the retailer’s website, “Some Christopher & Banks and CJ Banks stores are now closed. We have updated several of our store policies and programs.” While the statement suggested that only some stores have closed down, it is believed that all Christopher & Banks physical stores are now closed.

The reason for the closure is the impact of the pandemic. Many women, and people in general, are spending more time at home during the lockdown. Therefore, the retailer’s primary customer base has been nullified, which resulted in the company opting to close its physical stores. As a result, it was in January 2021 that the company filed for Chapter 11, reportedly confirming the retailer’s intention to liquidate its 450 physical stores.

While the brand was looking to liquidate its physical stores, it attempted to focus on its online store, which reportedly contributed a quarter of the retailer’s overall revenue. The retailer joined the scores of brands that ventured into online retail amid the pandemic. Initially, not a lot of companies wanted to bid for a stake in the company’s online operations, according to reports.

However, in March 2021, it was reported that a federal bankruptcy court had approved the sale of the retailer’s online business to an affiliate of the Hilco Merchant Resources. The approval comes after the retailer had cancelled an auction of its online business in February 2021, following the lack of competition during the bidding. It is estimated that the winning bid was over $12.7 million.