Steve & Barry's filing may lead to liquidation: report

(Reuters) - U.S. apparel chain Steve & Barry’s LLC’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last week is likely to lead to its liquidation, The Wall Street Journal said on Monday citing people involved in the case.

Several retailers, including Sears Holdings Corp SHLD.O and Gap Inc GPS.N have expressed interest in the Port Washington-based company, or at least some of its brands, the people told the paper.

Mall owners courted the retailer with large payments to outfit its stores. Those payments and not clothing profits fueled the company’s growth, the paper said.

When the payments slowed, Steve & Barry’s folded.

The collapse of the 276-store chain may hurt dozens of malls as they stand to lose a big anchor tenant and strike a blow to commercial landlords already reeling from weak consumer spending and a string of bad news from retailers, the paper said.

Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in Bangalore, editing by Will Waterman