13849 Wed, 02/20/2008 - 6:03pm
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.–Catalog merchant Lillian Vernon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today in the state of Delaware, marking the latest in a string of retailer bankruptcies.
Lillian Vernon is continuing to run the business and is taking phone and Internet orders, Mark McGowan, vice president of human resources, told HFN. “We’re doing everything possible to keep business going and keep the brand alive,” he said.
Retailers The Sharper Image, Fortunoff and Domain have all filed for bankruptcy this month.
Lillian Vernon’s filing was prompted by the company’s inability “to secure financing to keep the business going,” McGowan said.
The business is up for sale, and the retailer is “aggressively pursuing” a buyer, McGowan said. In 2006, Lillian Vernon was sold to private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners, which has invested in retailers and home furnishings businesses over the past few years.
Last week, Lillian Vernon cut its staff by 50 percent, McGowan said. “We’ve been forced to reduce staff and sell business to kept it going,” he said.
Among Sun Capital Partners’ holdings are ShopKo, Pamida, Mervyns, Catalina Lighting, Lexington Home Brands and Rowe.