Your favourite '90s clothing store is going out of business. Montreal-based Le Château, a wardrobe staple (especially around prom season) for every cool girl in the pre-Abercrombie era, has filed for protection from creditors. It’s the first step in eventually shutting down all 123 of its stores across Canada.
According to the Canadian Press, execs had spent most of the pandemic trying to refinance or sell the business, but couldn’t. Like it’s been for so many Canadian retailers, COVID-19 was the nail in the coffin of the struggling women's fashion brand. The pandemic’s “already-evident impact on consumer demand for Le Château's holiday party and occasion wear, which represents the core of our offering, has diminished Le Château’s ability to pursue its activities," said the company, which will have to eventually lay off some 1,400 employees. “Regrettably, these circumstances leave the company with no option other than to commence the liquidation process."
Le Château opened in 1959 as a menswear store, but branched into womenswear a few years later, eventually growing into a national chain known for its formalwear and going-out outfits. (Remember going out?) It joins a handful of other Canadian fashion retailers who couldn’t ride out economic downturn of the past few months: Addition Elle and mall swimsuit staple Swimco closed all stores; Mendocino has shuttered many; fellow Montreal-based Aldo has filed for credit protection; and Frank and Oak is facing bankruptcy.