A few weeks after hiring a financial advisor to help explore a potential sale, Limited Stores LLC — also known as The Limited — has begun to lay off as many as 248 employees at its headquarters in New Albany, Ohio.
In a notice to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in November, Limited Stores revealed that it may close the entire New Albany facility.
“Although the details have not been finalized, absent intervening circumstances, this mass layoff is expected to be permanent,” the company said in its letter to the state.
The company also sent an internal letter to employees this week, saying that if a buyer isn’t found, it would shut the chain down due to a combination of missed sales targets and “significant debt obligations,” noting that Q3 results were “very disappointing.”
For the time being, the layoffs are designed to enable the brand to focus on the operation of its 243 U.S. stores and e-Commerce site, while remaining financially flexible to continue ongoing discussions about the company’s future.
The brand’s parent company, private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc., has sought to either sell the brand or restructure. CEO Diane Ellis left The Limited in November to take over as President of Chico’s FAS.
The Limited’s woes are similar to those of many other mall-based apparel brands, such as Aéropostale, American Apparel and Pacific Sunwear. Each of these retailers has had to endure Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedures, with American Apparel recently filing for the second time and Aéropostale and Pacific Sunwear significantly reducing their store counts.
Sun Capital bought a 75% stake in The Limited from Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works parent L Brands in 2007, before buying the remaining 25% in 2010.