Nine West Files for Bankruptcy

In the latest victim of a rapidly evolving retail landscape, Nine West Holdings Inc. has filed for bankruptcy.

The footwear provider, suffocating under a $1 billion debt load, plans to reorganize and sell some assets. It said it will likely sell its Nine West and Bandolino brands to Authentic Brands Group, which owns Juicy Couture, Aeropostale and ABG brands.

Now, Nine West plans to continue operating during the bankruptcy and will focus on brands like One Jeanswear Group, Kasper Group, Jewelry Group and Anne Klein.

“We will retain our strong, profitable and growing apparel, jewelry, and jeanswear businesses and continue to operate them under a new capital structure so that we can leverage their existing strengths to drive even greater growth,” Ralph Schipani, Nine West’s CEO, said in the statement.

Nine West is owned by Sycamore Partners Management, which took a controlling stake in the company in 2014. The company has secured a $300 million loan to help fund its operations during the bankruptcy process. And many of its creditors have said they would support a reorganization.

Several major retailers that rely on traffic at brick-and-mortar locations and that were saddled with heavy debt loads have filed for bankruptcy. Traditional retailers are struggling as consumers increasingly gravitate toward online shopping. And highly leveraged retailers like Nine West have succumbed quickly to those trends.

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy protection in September and recently said it will liquidate its business after it could not successfully reorganize. Accessories retailer Claire’s filed for bankruptcy last month. (See also: Why Amazon Could Buy Some Toys R Us Stores.)

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