If the coronavirus pandemic forces RTW Retailwinds into bankruptcy, the retailer might need to close all its physical stores, according to a filing with the SEC. RTW Retailwinds already is planning to close more than one-third of its 387-store fleet, as it shifts its strategy away from brick-and-mortar operations to focus on e-Commerce.
“Prior to the impact of COVID-19, the Company planned to accelerate its strategy to reposition itself as a digitally dominant retailer,” said RTW Retailwinds in the filing. “With that, it anticipated the closure of 150 stores over the next 18 months as a component of the Company’s transformation to a digitally dominant portfolio of brands. If the Company seeks protection under the bankruptcy laws as discussed above, it could close more than 150 stores, or it may close all of its stores. The reduction of non-productive selling square feet is an integral component of the Company’s goal to improve productivity and profitability across its chain of stores and online. Since the beginning of fiscal year 2014, the Company has closed 179 stores.”
RTW Retailwinds initially brought up the possibility of bankruptcy in a June 3 SEC filing that discussed “a substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” The retailer also is recovering from the departure of President, Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Tracy Inglis after she stepped down in late April. Inglis is remaining at the company as a Board Advisor through August 2020.