Skip to main content

Christopher & Banks considers selling or bankruptcy as sales struggle

The Plymouth-based women's retailer hasn't seen sales recover amid the pandemic.

A Plymouth-based women's clothing retailer is considering its options, including selling the company and bankruptcy, as sales have slumped this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Christopher & Banks released its third-quarter financial results on Thursday, showing the company lost $10.8 million in the three-month period that ended Oct. 31. 

From August-October, the company's sales decreased by 22.6% compared to the same time last year. this was the result of lower sales in retail stores, which the company notes was partially offset by a 32.4% growth in online sales. 

Although the retailer saw "sequential improvement" in its sales trends in the third quarter compared to earlier in the pandemic, sales numbers didn't meet expectations, President and CEO Keri Jones said in a statement. 

"We have not seen the level of sales recovery that we had anticipated. We believe that COVID has had an outsized impact on our customer demographic as her shopping behavior is more pragmatic with limited demand for new outfits in the absence of social engagements," Jones said, noting retail trends show women are still hesitant to shop in stores. 

With the expectation that the pandemic will continue to have a negative impact on sales for the next "several months," Jones said Christopher & Banks has decided to "engage external advisors, including an investment banker, as we work to refinance our debt and explore other strategic alternatives."

The alternatives the company is looking into include further lease concessions and deferrals, further reductions of operating and capital expenditures, and refinancing the company's debt. It's also considering selling the company or its assets and "restructuring its debt and liabilities through a private restructuring or a restructuring under the protection of applicable bankruptcy laws."

Christopher & Banks does have hope for the future as the company expects sales to improve once the pandemic is under control.

Follow Bring Me The News on YouTube

"While COVID has had an outsized impact on the customer demographic we serve, we believe that once we enter the post-pandemic world, she will return to her trusted resource for fashion, quality and value," Jones said. 

She added, "If given adequate financial runway, we continue to believe in our long-term potential based on the strategic foundation we have established, our loyal customer following and the traction we have gained in attracting new customers to our brand."

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. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 4.32.08 PM

State: Beltrami County Jail conditions present imminent risk of 'life-threatening harm'

The state is taking action to force changes at the Beltrami County Jail.


Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.


Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 9.31.03 AM

Old Navy closes Eagan store

There's another change in store for the popular Eagan strip mall.


christopher and banks

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

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

Investment firm urges Christopher & Banks to consider buyout offer

Boston-based Aria Partners, which owns 4 percent of the struggling Plymouth-based women's clothing retailer, has agreed to buy the company for $1.75 per share. Christopher & Banks “immediately dismissed” an offer Aria made last month.


Target sales grew by $15B in 2020, more than past 11 years combined

The pandemic led to a historic year for the Minneapolis retailer.

Christopher & Banks hires new CEO

Christopher & Banks has named veteran retail executive LuAnn Via to be its new president and chief executive officer, the Pioneer Press reports. Via was most recently the CEO of Payless Shoes. She will start her new role with the women's apparel company on Nov. 26. Via replaces Joel Waller, who took over when Larry Barenbaum left the struggling Plymouth-based retailer in February.


Target quarterly sales rise again after historic year of COVID sales

Target's profits rose from $284 million in Q1 last year to $2.1 billion this year.

suit shopping

Men's Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank owner files for bankruptcy

Suit sales have dropped as more people work from home during the pandemic.

target store

Target announces blowout 3rd quarter results

The retailer has seen business surge during the pandemic.