2020年5月6日


歐巴馬夫人喜愛的服裝品牌「J.Crew」申請破產


美國前總統歐巴馬的夫人米歇爾女士喜歡穿的美國招牌中低價服裝品牌J.Crew受新冠疫情的影響,4日進入了破產程序。在美國,因新冠疫情影響而申請破產保護的大型零售企業中,J.Crew是第壹家。有分析認為,這是零售企業“連鎖破產”的信號彈。

據《華爾街日報》報道,J.Crew集團當天根據《破產法》第11條向弗吉尼亞州裏奇蒙聯邦破產法院提交了破產保護申請書。此次破產保護申請是在與債權團等就約2萬億美元(約2451萬億韓元)的負債與82%的股份交換方式達成協議後進行的。

成立於1947年的女性服裝品牌“大眾俱樂部計劃”的母體J.Crew集團於1983年推出J.Crew品牌,以端莊利落的“預科生風格(preppy look)”人氣飆升。傑西卡·阿爾芭、瑞茜·威瑟斯彭等好萊塢明星也頗為喜愛。

據美國有線電視新聞網(CNN)報道,有分析結果稱,在米歇爾於2008年10月身穿J.Crew服裝亮相NBC電視臺“今夜秀”之後,J.crew股價上漲了25%。2009年她與兩個女兒壹起穿著J.Crew服裝和皮手套出席歐巴馬就職典禮,凸顯了她灑脫的形象,J.Crew獲得了“歐巴馬家族服裝品牌”的美譽。米歇爾在2013年歐巴馬總統的第二次就任儀式上也展示了J.Crew的腰帶和皮鞋。

但此後,J.Crew壹直不敵網絡企業和後起品牌,從2014年到去年連續6年虧損,走下坡路。今年3月因新冠疫情關閉500多家門店後,估計虧損9億美元。穆迪副總裁拉亞·索科裏安斯卡說,“J.Crew的破產將成為面臨經營困境的零售公司接連破產的首例”。

此外,北卡羅來納州德勒姆的北門購物中心當天決定停業。《華爾街日報》報道稱,這是自新冠疫情後美國大型購物中心中破產的第壹個案例。總部位於德克薩斯州達拉斯的健身俱樂部“Gold‘s Gym International”當天也提交了破產保護申請書。擁有113年歷史的高級百貨店“Neiman Marcus”和大眾流通公司“J. C. Penny”也在申請破產保護程序之前與債權人進行談判。

美國政府出手支持民間企業,預告將為承擔2.2萬億美元的“超級經濟扶持政策”等而發行巨額國債。美國財政部表示,計劃在今年第二季度(4月-6月)發行史上最大規模的2.99萬億美元市場性債券。這是去年貸款額(1.28萬億美元)的兩倍多。財政部第壹季度貸款了4770億美元,第三季度也計劃追加貸款6770億美元。州政府也面臨資金困難。當天,由於失業補助金基金見底,加利福尼亞州從聯邦政府貸款了3.48億美元。

新聞來源:東亞日報

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J.Crew files for bankruptcy protection as pandemic chokes retail


The owner of J.Crew is filing for bankruptcy protection, the first major retailer to do so since the pandemic forced the closing of most stores in the United States.

More retail bankruptcies are expected in coming weeks with the doors of thousands of stores still locked, though states have begun a staggered restart of their economies.

March sales at stores and restaurants had their most severe plunge on records dating back to 1992. Clothing sales fell more than 50% that month and it has grown worse.

The abrupt closure of stores threatens the overall health of the U.S. with consumers driving 70% of all economic activity in the country.

Parts of the retail sector were already under duress before the arrival of COVID-19 due to seismic changes in what is bought and how. The most vulnerable have quickly lost the ability to pay bills and, like J.Crew, are seeking help from creditors.

J.Crew’s lenders agreed to convert $1.65 billion of its debt into equity. It’s also secured commitments for financing of $400 million from existing lenders Anchorage Capital Group, L.L.C., GSO Capital Partners and Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, among others.

Subject to court approval, the so-called debtor-in possession” financing, combined with the company’s projected cash flows, is expected to support its operations during the restructuring process.s

J.Crew was one of the chains in trouble before the pandemic and it was laden with debt. The company was acquired by TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners for $3 billion in 2011.

Retail veteran Mickey Drexler led J.Crew for more than a decade when it become a coveted fashion brand.Former First Lady Michelle Obama gave the brand even more prominence during her eight years at the White House when she was constantly sporting casual pieces like its popular cardigan and slim skirts.

But the chain appeared to lose its way and Drexler severed his last ties with the company in January 2019.

Operations at J.Crew will continue throughout a restructuring and clothing will still be available to purchase online.

The company said Monday that it anticipates its stores will reopen when it’s safe to do so.

In its last full year of operations, J.Crew generated $2.5 billion in sales, a 2% increase from the year before.

J.Crew had aimed to spin off its successful Madewell division as a public company and use the proceeds to pay down its debt. The company said Monday that Madewell will remain part of J.Crew Group Inc.

There were 193 J.Crew stores, 172 J.Crew Factory outlets and 132 Madewell locations as of Feb. 1.

Original Article: The Boston Globe
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