Cache Chain Said to File for Bankruptcy as Soon as Next Week

Cache Inc., an almost 40-year-old clothing chain known for helping popularize Armani and Versace designs in the U.S., is preparing to file for bankruptcy, said people with knowledge of the situation.

The move is expected as soon as next week, said the people, who didn’t want to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Cache said last month that it was exploring options and had received an inquiry from a potential buyer. The company hasn’t provided an update on the process since then.

The company would join Delia’s Inc., Deb Stores and Wet Seal Inc. in seeking protection from creditors in recent weeks. The chains have suffered from slower foot traffic at shopping malls, as well as growing competition from overseas competitors and e-commerce sites. Another chain, Body Central Corp., said this month it will liquidate under state-court supervision.

Cache’s chief marketing officer resigned in December, and the company reiterated this month that it has fallen below the Nasdaq’s listing requirements.

The shares tumbled 49 percent to less than 10 cents at the close today in New York, reducing its market value to $3 million.

Marilyn Rubinson, a Brooklyn-born housewife, opened the first Cache store in Miami in 1976. The chain now operates 237 boutiques in what it describes as “high-traffic upscale” malls in 43 states. According to the New York-based company, Rubinson was the first to bring the Mugler, Armani and Versace brands to the U.S.

This would be Cache’s second trip to bankruptcy court. It filed a Chapter 11 petition in 1986 and emerged in 1988.

Cache didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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