Brookstone Reportedly Mulls Second Bankruptcy, Plans To Shutter Most U.S. Stores
Experiential retailing might not be enough to save gadget retailer Brookstone, which is reportedly considering a second bankruptcy that may shutter most, if not all, of its U.S. locations.
Currently, the retailer has 140 stores domestically, including 36 in airports. Now the company is preparing to close most of them via bankruptcy, perhaps retaining some airport locations, Bloomberg reports, citing anonymous sources.
The chain is seeking as much as $60M to keep the business operating after a Chapter 11 filing, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A filing in the matter could come as soon as the end of July. If so, it would be Brookstone's second bankruptcy. In 2014, the Merrimack, New Hampshire-based company filed for Chapter 11, with the intention of selling itself to Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc.
Instead, Chinese investors led by Sanpower Group outbid Spencer, acquiring the retailer for about $174M.
More recently, Brookstone introduced — as a foray into more experiential retailing — a new concept at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York, called Brookstone Makers Showcase.
Brookstone Makers Showcase is a demo-friendly store designed to compete with online retailers by providing hands-on experience with new products. It isn't clear whether this new initiative will survive any move to file for bankruptcy.
Should the Brookstone store closures occur, they would merely be the latest for the retail industry. Last year, about 9,000 U.S. stores closed, according to consulting firm BDO USA data.
Cushman & Wakefield predicts that as many as 12,000 stores will close in 2018, largely as the result of major retailers filing for bankruptcy.