November 1, 2017 / 11:03 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. retailer Styles For Less prepares to file for bankruptcy: lawyer

(Reuters) - Teen fashion retailer Styles For Less Inc is preparing to file for bankruptcy, a lawyer for the company said on Wednesday, in the latest example of a U.S. brick-and-mortar retailer becoming a casualty of consumers moving more of their shopping online.

Retailers tend to avoid filing for bankruptcy ahead of the holiday shopping season, preferring to either build up cash to finance a future filing or wait to see if they have strong sales.

Styles For Less, based in Anaheim, California, will file for bankruptcy in the coming days, said Marc Winthrop, a senior partner at law firm Winthrop Couchot Golubow Hollander LLP, which is representing the company.

The chain sells women’s clothes and accessories at about 100 stores in malls, outlets and strip centers across California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Florida, according to its website.

The retailer plans to reorganize its debt during bankruptcy, and is seeking a loan to fund it through the process, Winthrop said. Styles For Less, which has close to 600 employees, will file in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Central District of California, he added.

Calls and emails to Styles For Less were not returned.

Styles For Less joins a number of retailers, including juniors chain The Wet Seal LLC, fashion house BCBG Max Azria Global Holdings LLC and jeansmaker True Religion Apparel Inc, in seeking bankruptcy protection this year. True Religion reorganized its debt and remained in business, while Wet Seal found a buyer for its brand and BCBG sold to a consortium that kept some of its stores running.

Styles For Less has been closing stores, Winthrop said. According to its website, Styles For Less recently had as many as 160 stores.

The same family that founded and ran Clothestime Inc, a similar apparel chain that gained fame for its TV commercials, started Styles For Less over 20 years ago. Clothestime, which had been publicly traded, filed for bankruptcy in the 1990s.

Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli in New York

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