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Retail's Creditors Left Grasping as Brands Move Out of Reach

  • Intellectual property gets moved into new subsidiaries
  • Debtholders ponder who will be next to ‘pull a J. Crew’
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For shoppers, J. Crew and Claire’s are well-known places to pick up preppy clothes or trendy earrings. For creditors of these struggling companies, the real deal is who gets to own the brands.

Lenders count on the drawing power of such instantly recognizable names, the “intellectual property,” to provide some value in case a company goes bust. Otherwise, they’d be stuck with a bunch of nameless stores selling anonymous argyle sweaters and tween bangles.