MINNEAPOLIS — Christopher & Banks Corp., a specialty women’s apparel retailer, announced Thursday that it has filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.

The company expects to close a significant portion, if not all, of its brick-and-mortar stores, which includes one in the Village Mall in Danville. In conjunction, the company has launched a store closing and liquidation process.

Village Mall Property Manager Cinnamyn Keith had no comment.

The company, however, will continue to operate its business in the ordinary course in the near term; and the company is in active discussion with potential buyers for the sale of its eCommerce platform and related assets and expects to file the appropriate motion shortly, according to a press release.

The company has filed customary motions with the bankruptcy court that will authorize, upon bankruptcy court approval, the company’s ability to maintain operations in the ordinary course of business, including, among other things, the payment of employee wages and benefits without interruption, payment of suppliers and vendors in the normal course of business, and the use of cash collateral.

These motions are typical in the Chapter 11 process and the company anticipates that they will be approved shortly after the commencement of its Chapter 11 case.

As previously announced, on Dec. 10, 2020, the company engaged strategic advisors including B. Riley Securities Inc. to assist with management’s evaluation and pursuit of available strategic alternatives.

Keri Jones, president and chief executive officer, commented, “Since the start of the COVID pandemic, we have taken aggressive steps to protect our business while continuing to serve our customers in a healthy and safe environment. Despite the tremendous advancements we have made in executing our strategic plan, due to the financial distress resulting from the pandemic and its ongoing impact, we elected to initiate this process and pursue a potential sale of the business in whole or in part to position the company for the future. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to our dedicated associates, loyal customers and supportive partners for their commitment to Christopher & Banks throughout these challenging times.”

Christopher & Banks Corp. is a Minneapolis-based specialty retailer featuring exclusively designed privately branded women’s apparel and accessories. As of Jan. 13, 2021, the company operated 449 stores in 44 states consisting of 315 Missy/Petite/Women stores, 76 outlet stores, 31 Christopher & Banks stores and 28 stores in its women’s plus size clothing division CJ Banks. The company also operates the www.ChristopherandBanks.com eCommerce website.

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