Neiman Marcus Declares Chapter 11, Gap Plans Store Reopenings

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, more prominent retailers continue to be hit by the pandemic’s economic freeze.

On May 7, Neiman Marcus Group LTD LLC announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. Neiman Marcus secured debtor-in-possession financing of $675 million from creditors, said Geoffroy Van Raemdonck, chairman and chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus Group.

“We are facing unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has placed inexorable pressure on our business,” he said. “We will emerge a far stronger company. In a world that is changing, we are uniquely positioned to give our brand partners access to our loyal luxury customers like no other company. We will deliver that through the strength of our associate relationship and digital solutions.”

Van Raemdonck forecast that the retailer would emerge from bankruptcy in the fall. Also on May 7, The Buckle, Inc. announced a 80.8 percent decline in net sales for its fiscal month that ended May 2. Net sales declined to $11.4 million from $59.6 million in a year-over-year comparison.

Buckle, headquartered in Kearney, Neb., closed all of its bricks-and-mortar stores March 18. However, by May 3, 137 of its physical stores reopened. Buckle runs a fleet of 446 stores.

Gap Inc. outlined its plans for reopening its giant fleet of stores in a May 6 blog on its investors relations blog. The San Francisco-based specialty retail giant discussed plans to reopen by the end of the month 800 of its stores under the nameplates of Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Janie and Jack and Intermix.

Sonia Syngal, Gap Inc.’s CEO, said that the locations would be reopened carefully. “In working with industry partners and public officials to define safe shopping practices, we’re eager to begin welcoming our teams and customers back to our stores, and confident in our ability to safely scale North America openings over the coming months in line with local guidelines,” Syngal said.