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Christopher & Banks closing stores for good, laying off 361 people at Plymouth facility

The layoffs began earlier this month and will continue through March.

Plymouth-based retailer Christopher & Banks is laying off more than 300 workers in Minnesota as it moves to permanently close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a WARN letter to the state of Minnesota, which is required by law, Christopher & Banks said it is permanently closing, which is resulting in the permanent layoffs of 361 people from its Plymouth headquarters. 

The initial layoffs began on Jan. 15 and will continue through early to mid-March, when the women's clothing business will be fully closed. 

"The company has experienced, and continues to experience, liquidity constraints as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," the letter states. "Although the company has been attempting to attract new investors and financing to maintain its business operations, the company was unable to obtain the required capital, and the company’s current cash position is such that the company has insufficient funds to maintain its business operations."

The letter is dated Jan. 12 and was released by the state on Jan. 25. On Jan. 14, Christopher & Banks announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At that time, the company said it expected to close a "significant portion, if not all, of its brick-and-mortar stores," noting it has launched a store closing and liquidation process.

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It also said it is in "active discussion with potential buyers for the sale of its eCommerce platform and relate assets and expects to file the appropriate motion shortly."

Back in December, Christopher & Banks said it was considering filing for bankruptcy or selling the company because sales hadn't recovered amid the pandemic. 

Braun's Fashions opened in Minneapolis in 1956 and rebranded to Christopher & Banks in 2000, according to the company's website. The company operates nearly 450 stores nationally, mostly in smaller markets with populations of fewer than 75,000 people. 

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