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Retailer with Myrtle Beach location files bankruptcy; future of the store unknown

Christopher & Banks files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Women's retailer Christopher & Banks Corp. filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday, indicating it may have to close all of its stores. It has a location at the Tnager Outlets off U.S. 501 in Myrtle Beach. Brad Nettles/Staff

MYRTLE BEACH — Christopher & Banks Corp., a women's clothing chain with an outlet store at Tanger Outlets off U.S. 501, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday.

The publicly traded chain said in a statement that it expects to close "a significant portion, if not all" of its 449 physical stores. Christopher & Banks determined that selling its brick-and-mortar locations "is not viable or achievable under the current circumstances" and will sell off other assets to repay creditors, court papers show. The retailer said it's already in talks with a potential buyer for its e-commerce business.

The chain struggled in recent years, racking up losses as e-commerce focused rivals boomed. The pandemic made matters worse — Christopher & Banks had to close all of its stores for more than a month last March. Customer traffic at reopened locations remains suppressed, court papers show.

"Unfortunately, given the debtors' continued operating losses, decline in sales and the limited runway, the debtors were unable to execute on any out of-court solution for their liquidity constraints," Chief Executive Officer Keri L. Jones said in a court declaration.

Based in Plymouth, Minnesota, Christopher & Banks employs almost 3,000 people and operates stores in 44 states, court papers show.

Christopher & Banks has South Carolina locations in Gaffney, Columbia and Myrtle Beach.

It was unknown how the chain's outlet stores would be impacted.

When asked if the Myrtle Beach Tanger Outlets location would be impacted, Carleen Dewey, retailer and customer relations manager for Tanger, said the outlet is not able to speak on behalf of its retailers.

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