One of Canada’s retail institutions, Le Chateau, is closing down its stores across the country, including its outlet at the Tsawwassen Mills.
The Montreal-based company has been in operation for 60 years and is now seeking court protection from creditors to allow it to liquidate its assets and close its stores.
Le Chateau said Friday in a news release, that it has spent much of the pandemic trying to find solutions to remaining viable, such as refinancing or selling to third party. Both attempts, however, were unsuccessful.
The company said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores, but the eventual closures will mean the end of about 1,400 jobs — 500 at its head office and 900 at stores.
“We regret the impact this will have on our people and can assure you that we explored all options available to us prior to taking this difficult decision,” the company said. “It’s already evident impact on consumer demand for Le Chateau's holiday party and occasion wear, which represents the core of our offering, has diminished Le Chateau's ability to pursue its activities. Regrettably, these circumstances leave the company with no option other than to commence the liquidation process.”
The company's application for protection from creditors under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) will be heard by a Quebec court on Friday.
The company's application comes after several other Canadian retailers have shuttered or downsized operations in the wake of the pandemic.
Reitmans Canada Ltd., Aldo Group Inc., DavidsTea Inc., Mountain Equipment Co-operative, Moores the Suit People Corp. and Laura’s Shoppe Inc. are among the dozens of retailers that have all filed for CCAA.
-With files from Canadian Press and Richmond NEWS