Body Central Receives Default Notice, Will Examine Options

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Body Central Corp., a women’s apparel retailer, said it’s in default on $18 million in debt and is exploring strategic alternatives, becoming the latest mall-based merchant to fight for survival.

Body Central is experiencing “significant liquidity problems,” and is exploring options, including a possible bankruptcy filing, the Jacksonville, Florida-based company said today in a statement. The retailer, which operates about 265 stores in 28 states, sells clothes and accessories to young women and teens.

The company, which has lost about $70 million in the 12 months through September, joins a parade of struggling retailers that cater to younger shoppers. Deb Stores Holding LLC and Delia’s Inc. filed for bankruptcy last month, hurt by competition from online and fast-fashion retailers. Wet Seal Inc., meanwhile, said today it will close about two-thirds of its locations as it strives to save cash after receiving a default notice on $27 million in notes.

Body Central shares tumbled 69 percent to 32 cents at the close in New York. The stock plunged 97 percent last year.