Photographer: Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images

Aerosoles Files for Bankruptcy to Seek a Sale or Refinancing

  • Footwear maker seeks to reorganize around e-commerce units
  • Wants proposals within 60 days to exit Chapter 11 before 2018

The maker of Aerosoles flexible-sole footwear filed for bankruptcy as it looks to sell or refinance around its e-commerce unit.

AeroGroup International, established in 1987 through a buyout of a Kenneth Cole division, estimated around $109 million in debt as of Friday’s Chapter 11 filing, and said it plans to continue evaluating store closing. It operates 78 stores across the U.S., after closing around 30 in 2016.

The New Jersey-based footwear maker seeks a proposal to buy or finance a business around its wholesale and e-commerce units, joining a raft of retailers affected by changing consumer habits and the growth of online shopping.

“Declining mall traffic, a highly promotional and competitive retail environment, and a shift in customer demand and preference for online shopping versus the traditional brick and mortar environment” all contributed to Aerosoles’s declining fortunes after more than 30 years of profitable operations, Mark Weinstein, the company’s chief restructuring officer, said in a court filing.

The company said it wants a proposal within 60 days to exit Chapter 11 by the end of the year.

Other retailers to seek bankruptcy recently include Rue21 Inc., Payless Shoesource Inc. and Perfumania Holdings Inc.

The case is In re AeroGroup International, 17-11962, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware. (Delaware)

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