The boutique clothing store chain will use the filing to implement a sale process “as expeditiously as possible” focused on Francesca’s core retail locations, its digital expansion and new brand launches, according to the news release.
Francesca’s previously announced plans to close 140 boutiques and plans to attempt to renegotiate a number of leases during this process, which may include closing additional boutiques. As of Dec. 3, 558 boutiques remain open for business.
The chain has received a commitment from its current lender, Tiger Finance LLC, for a $25 million debtor-in-possession financing facility, which would allow Francesca’s to continue to operate the business and meet its financial obligations, which includes the timely payment of employee wages and benefits, continued provision of customer orders and shipments, and payment of other obligations.
“Implementing this process allows francesca’s to address our lease obligations and seek a new investor that can see francesca’s into the future,” Francesca's CEO Andrew Clarke said in the news release. “The financing provided by Tiger will enable francesca’s to pursue a sale process that will allow us continue to focus on our omni-channel strategies, optimize our boutique fleet, broaden our customer reach with brand extensions and drive sustainable, profitable growth."
The bankruptcy filing comes a little more than two months after the company announced it was exploring “strategic initiatives” after showing second-quarter net sales losses of 29%.
Francesca’s has offered a curated mix of women’s clothing, baubles, accessories and gifts since 1999 with its first boutique in Houston. www.francescas.com