On Wednesday, Bakers Footwear Group Inc filed for bankruptcy protection as it tries to restructure and save its business while sales continue to fall. Bakers operates about 215 women’s shoe stores in the United States. According to court documents, sales at Bakers’ outlets have fallen by almost six percent compared to last year, bringing the company to the brink of bankruptcy.
Bakers has been in loss since 2006, and the company, which caters mainly to young women, is trying to make its first annual profit in seven years as it keeps closing and selling stores, ending licensing agreements and laying off staff. Its poor sales during the year led to its default on a $30 million secured credit facility it had from Crystal Financial LLC.
Crystal’s agreement necessitates Bakers to have a bankruptcy restructuring agreement in place by November 2, or find a buyer for the company.
The reputed company was founded in 1926 as Weiss-Kraemer Inc. Later the company was bought by its CEO, Peter Edison, in 1997. Edison bought part of the Bakers and Wild Pair retail chains out of bankruptcy, changed its name to Bakers, and became public in 2004.
Bakers, currently had debts close to sixty million dollars and assets close to forty two million dollars.
A company statement mentioned that bankruptcy would make its shares worthless. Currently, investors who hold more than five percent of stock in the company include Edison, Steven Madden Ltd, and Wells Fargo.