Levi Strauss & Co. will acquire the operating rights to 73 locations that were licensed to privately held Anchor Blue Retail Group Inc., which concurrently announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
If the acquisition is made, the deal would significantly boost the jeans maker's U.S. store count. As of Wednesday, Levi operated 17 Levi's locations and seven Dockers outlet stores. Anchor Blue and its predecessor companies had been Levi's outlet licensing partner since the early 1990s, according to Levi spokesman Jeff Beckman.
"The outlet channel is poised for continued growth over the near- and long-term," said Levi's President Robert Hanson. "We believe that this transaction will strengthen our ability to manage our brands' positioning effectively in the outlet channel" and "provide a profitable growth opportunity" for the company.
Levi's said the transaction, which involved Levi's and Dockers Outlet by MOST stores, included inventory, fixtures and equipment associated with the store. The transaction is expected to close in July.
Meanwhile, Anchor Blue said as part of its bankruptcy filing it will close about 50 underperforming stores, with many locations in such hard-hit states as Arizona, California and Florida. The company had operated 177 stores in 12 states.
Bankruptcies and Liquidations:
- Jan. 7, Goody's liquidates, closing 287 stores
- Jan. 8, Against All Odds files for bankruptcy protection, operates 64 stores overall, plans to close West Coast stores
- Jan. 13, Shane Co. files for bankruptcy, operates 23 stores
- Jan. 14, Gottschalks files for bankruptcy, operates 58 stores, Update: March 31, Gottschalks will liquidate
- Jan. 16, Circuit City to Liquidate, closing 567 stores
- Feb. 6, Fortunoff, operates 20 stores
- Feb. 6, Bruno's, operates 66 stores
- Feb. 12, S&K Famous Brands, operates 136 stores; Update: Feb. 19, plans to close 30. Update: May 26, plans to close rest.
- Feb. 17, Innovation Luggage, operates 10 stores
- Feb. 23, Ritz Camera, operates about 1,000 stores; Update, April 6, closing 300 camera stores and 120 Boater's World stores
- March 6, Joe's Sports & Outdoor, operates 30 stores
- March 25, Bi-Lo, operates 215 stores
- April 13, Z Gallerie, operates 56 stores
- April 13, Ultra Stores, operates 181 stores
- May 5, Filene's Basement, operates 25 stores, sold 17
- May 28, Anchor Blue, operates 177 stores, closing 50
Potential Bankruptcies & Liquidation Impact: 1,518 confirmed closures out of about 2,915 stores
- Jan. 8, New York & Co., 50 stores
- Jan. 8, Macy's, 11 stores
- Jan. 9, Supervalu, 50 stores
- Jan. 13, Cost Plus, 26 stores
- Jan. 20, Yankee Candle, 28 Illuminations stores
- Jan. 21, Filene's Basement, 11 stores
- Jan. 22, Phillips-Van Heusen, 175 stores
- Jan 22, Brown Shoe, up to 35 Famous Footwear stores
- Jan. 26, Home Depot, 48 stores
- Jan. 29, Starbucks, 200 U.S. Stores (plus 100 international)
- Jan. 29, Chico's, up to 25 stores
- Feb. 9, Talbots, 20 stores
- Feb. 24, Jimmy'Z, 11 stores
- Feb. 24, Z. Gallerie, 25 stores
- Feb. 25, Zale Corp., 115 stores
- Feb. 26, Gap, 50 net closings
- Feb. 27, Sears, 44 stores
- March 3, Virgin Megastores, 6 stores
- March 6, Ann Taylor, 37 stores in 2009, 163 total by end of 2010
- March 18, Drug Fair, 11 stores
- March 23, Pier 1, 80 stores
- April 3, Rite Aid, 117 stores
- April 21, Kirkland's, up to 40 stores
- April 29, Jones Apparel Group, 225 stores
Total Closings: up to 1,440 U.S. stores
Potential Impact of All Announcements to Date: 2,958 closures out of up to 4,355 potentially affected U.S. stores