The almost 40-year-old purveyor of prom dresses filed for bankruptcy this morning.
CachÃ© is the latest mall retailer to file for bankruptcy in a brutal quarter that’s already claimed Wet Seal, dELia*s, DEB Shops and C. Wonder.
The company, which has been working towards a turnaround for the past two years, said in a statement today that “the depressed brick and mortar retail market, the continued growth of online shopping, and rapidly changing consumer tastes and habits thwarted our efforts.” CachÃ© said in December it was searching for a buyer but apparently couldn’t find one in time.
It plans to liquidate its inventory through going-out-of-business sales, according to bankruptcy filings, and also work to negotiate some leases. The chain said it’s “critical” to start liquidation sales by March 4 based on the cash drain from stores and because its inventory is seasonal.
The New York-based mall chain, which says it employs around 2,500 people, is best known for its special-occasion dresses, which account for more than half its sales, according to bankruptcy filings. The company, which sells more than 90% of its clothing under the CachÃ© label, forecast just over $200 million in revenue for the latest fiscal year.
The company noted its two major missteps in recent years were a rapid expansion to 306 locations, leading to a number of underperforming stores, and a “reorientation” from core, high-margin, high-end dresses and accessories into “the lower-margin casual sportswear business.”
The first CachÃ© was opened as a boutique in Miami in 1976 by a woman named Marilyn Rubinson. Rubinson, according to the company’s website, was the first to bring designs by Armani and Versace to the U.S.
“Marilyn’s CachÃ© was more fashion club than retail operation,” the website says. “It was a place where shoppers were treated like girlfriends, fashion was fun and women were fabulous.”
The company filed for bankruptcy today “with the goal of securing CachÃ©’s future,” Jay Margolis, CachÃ©’s chairman and CEO said in today’s statement. “Ultimately, we have not had the time or capital to realize all of the benefits of our hard work.”