Canadian fashion retailer Jacob to liquidate and close stores

TORONTO (Reuters) - Boutique Jacob, a Canadian women’s fashion retailer that filed for credit protection in 2010, is liquidating its inventory and closing its stores after failing to find new financing or return to profitability, the retailer said on Tuesday.

Jacob, whose stylish, business-casual fashion catered to young professional women, said it was hurt by a challenging economy in recent years combined with an influx of international brands into Canada.

The Montreal-based, privately-owned family company began as a single apparel store in Quebec in the 1960s, owned by Jacob Basmaji. The first Jacob store opened in 1977 and the company’s Canadian-wide expansion began in 1985 with the opening of its first store in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

The company said it will liquidate inventory through its 92 Jacob, Jacob Outlet and Jacob Liquidation stores.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Leslie Adler