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Christopher & Banks store closing sales: All locations liquidating after retailer files for bankruptcy protection

Kelly Tyko
USA TODAY

Apparel retailer Christopher & Banks, which caters to women over 40, is the latest clothing chain to file for bankruptcy protection amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minneapolis-based company announced Thursday it filed for Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. Christopher & Banks said in a news release it "expects to close a significant portion, if not all, of its brick-and-mortar stores."

Hours after the bankruptcy filing, liquidation company Hilco Merchant Resources announced store closing sales have begun at all Christopher & Banks stores nationwide with discounts 40% to 60% off the original prices. Christopher & Banks said it "is in active discussion with potential buyers" for the sale of its online business and related assets.

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Keri Jones, president and CEO, said the company has "taken aggressive steps to protect our business while continuing to serve our customers in a healthy and safe environment" since the start of the pandemic.

"Despite the tremendous advancements we have made in executing our strategic plan, due to the financial distress resulting from the pandemic and its ongoing impact, we elected to initiate this process and pursue a potential sale of the business in whole or in part to position the Company for the future," Jones said in a statement.

The company hinted a bankruptcy was imminent when it announced on Dec. 10 that it hired strategic advisers and was working to refinance debt and explore alternatives.

In June, the company obtained a $10 million loan under the Paycheck Protection Program.

As of Jan. 13, the company said it operated 449 stores in 44 states, including 315 Missy, Petite, Women stores, 76 outlet stores, 31 Christopher & Banks stores and 28 C.J. Banks stores.

Last week, Macy's and Bed Bath & Beyond confirmed 2021 store closings. J.C. Penney announced in December it would close additional stores.

Christopher & Banks gift cards, returns

The last day to use gift cards in stores is Feb. 12 and the company said in a notice of modifications to customer programs that there are “no changes to online gift card redemption at this time.”

Non-expired Friendship Rewards Program reward certificates will be valid through Feb. 12 in-store and online, the company said in the notice.

Since the company filed for bankruptcy all store sales are now final and no returns will be accepted. Returns for store purchases made Jan. 13 and prior can be returned within 30 days for merchandise credit.

Online purchases can be returned in stores until Feb. 12 and after that date must be returned online.

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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko