Sur La Table files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close 56 stores

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Seattle— Privately owned cookware retailer Sur La Table has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Seattle-based company is expected to close 56 of its 121 stores, according to reports from The New York Timesmaking it the latest retailer to battle the strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following store closures and bankruptcy proceedings, Sur La Table has entered into a harassment agreement – ​​or an initial offer over the assets of a bankrupt company – with companies affiliated with Fortress Investment Group, based in New York. The private equity firm is working with Los Angeles-based STORY3 Capital Partners, a private equity and debt investor who has previously invested in retailers including Hot Topic, Nordstrom, Oakley, True Religion and West Marine.

Jason Goldberger, CEO of Sur La Table, said the company will focus on its successful stores, online platform and in-person cooking classes after the sale.

“This sales process will result in a revitalized Sur La Table, positioned to thrive in a post-COVID-19 retail environment,” Goldberger said. “Sur La Table will have an optimized balance sheet and business footprint to position the company for a bright future that continues our nearly 50-year tradition of delivering high-quality kitchen products and experiences to our customers.”

Of the 56 closed locations, 51 have clearance sales and will close permanently within the next eight to 12 weeks, The New York Times reports. As of July 4, all 121 Sur La Table stores have reopened in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal, state and local guidelines.

Sur La Table opened its first outlet in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market in the early 1970s. The company’s stores offer a mix of cookware, flatware, electrical appliances from cooking and cooking utensils, as well as in-store cooking classes.

Katie Sloan

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