A few days ago, The Limited announced on its homepage that the company will be shutting down its online retail operations for the time being. The move comes after the women’s apparel retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week after shuttering its 250 brick-and-mortar stores nationwide.
The Limited wrote on its website: “Please know that it has been such an honor to provide fashion for you and other strong, confident women for more than 50 years.” In addition, the retailer wrote that all orders not already shipped have been canceled, in which case customers would not be charged.
The Limited had been in operation since 1963 but had suffered from slumping foot traffic and expensive leases. An affiliate of the private equity firm Sycamore Partners reportedly bid $26 million for intellectual property owned by The Limited, extending to trademarks and social media. An asset auction is likely to be scheduled sometime within the next month.
Howard Davidowitz, chairman of retail consulting firm Davidowitz & Associates, was quoted by Internet Retailer as saying: “The whole segment is in the tank. Malls are terrible. We’re over-malled and add to that the explosive growth in online. When you put all that together, there’s only one thing you’re going to see — a tremendous amount of bankruptcies and closed stores.”
The Limited joins fellow bankrupt retail firms Pacific Sunwear, Aéropostale, Sports Authority and American Apparel, who all filed within the past year. Retail stalwarts, such as Sears and Macy’s, are also shutting down several brick-and-mortar locations this year.
Brands that had been part of or launched by The Limited included Limited Express, Lane Bryant and Abercrombie & Fitch.