Another clothing retailer files for bankruptcy

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Cache Inc., the women’s clothing chain known for helping popularize Armani designs in the U.S., joined a growing list of retailers seeking bankruptcy and plans to liquidate most of its assets.

The Chapter 11 filing Wednesday in Delaware comes days after Cache said it was considering a sale through the bankruptcy process. The New York-based company listed liabilities of as much as $100 million and assets of $53.7 million, including $27.5 million in inventory.

Cache has one store in the Indianapolis market, at the Fashion Mall at Keystone. The store remained open Thursday morning. The only other Cache store in Indiana is in Evansville.

The retailer joins Wet Seal Inc., Deb Stores Holding LLC, Loehmann’s Inc. and Coldwater Creek Inc. in filing for bankruptcy as shopping-mall traffic stagnates and consumers head to the Internet for bargains. Cache blamed a “persistently weak” environment for specialty retailers for impeding its turnaround effort.

Cache will close some retail locations and sell all or most of its assets through an agreement with SB Capital Group LLC and Tiger Capital Group LLC as liquidators and agents, according to the filing. The companies would conduct a chainwide “going out of business” sale, Cache said in court papers.

Simon its biggest creditor

The chain said it’s in default of about 50 commercial leases. While the company has obtained forbearance agreements with many of the landlords, it may not be able to make the payments to avoid lease terminations, according to the filing. The creditor listed as having the largest claim, $1.4 million, is Indianapolis-based landlord Simon Property Group Inc.

Founded by a Marilyn Rubinson, a Brooklyn, New York-born housewife, Cache opened its first store in Miami in the mid-1970s. The chain operates at 218 locations, 169 in malls, in 40 states, according to the filing. It previously filed for bankruptcy in 1986, emerging in 1988.

Cache undertook an aggressive rollout from 1999 to 2006, increasing the number of stores to 306 from 169. Many of those new shops proved unprofitable, forcing the company to close numerous locations since 2006, according to the filing.

In 2013, Cache gutted its management team. It brought in Jay Margolis, the former head of Limited Brands Inc.’s apparel division, as CEO to lead a turnaround emphasizing new collections by noted designers and expanded accessories lines.

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