December 16, 2013, 11:44 AM

Loehmann’s files for bankruptcy, again

Despite a push at e-commerce, off-price chain retailer Loehmann’s again files for protection and says it has found a buyer. The retailer last emerged from bankruptcy in 2011.

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Off-price apparel and accessories chain retailer Loehmann’s Holdings Inc. yesterday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the third time. The retailer last emerged from bankruptcy in 2011.

Loehmann’s filed its petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. In its petition Loehmann’s estimates liabilities in the $100 million to $500 million range. It says it has assets in the $50 million to $100 million range.

Whippoorwill Associates Inc., a hedge fund, is the majority owner of Loehmanns and its subsidiaries. The bankruptcy petition says Loehmanns has reached an acquisition agreement with SB Capital Group LLC, Tiger Capital Group LLC and A&G Realty Partners LLC. It does not disclose the terms but notes that the corporation and board have approved the terms of the sale. Now that Loehmann’s has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the sale is subject to the court’s approval. SB Capital and Tiger Capital are retail liquidators. A&G Realty is a commercial real estate company.

The retailer, in operation since 1921 and which currently has 39 stores, only launched e-commerce in 2011. Chief operating officer Bill Thayer told Internet Retailer earlier this year that Loehmanns.com was on course to generate $17 million in revenue for its fiscal year that runs through January 2014, up from $11 million a year ago.

It appears that late start may be putting Loehmann’s on a similar path as another venerable off-price retailer. Filene’s Basement, which never embraced e-commerce, went out of business in early 2012 following several rounds of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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