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J Crew prepares to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy

Struggling US casualwear brand J Crew is reportedly preparing to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the latest in a string of retailers to collapse amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The retailer has been in talks with several lenders over the past few weeks, the Wall Street Journal has reported. However, it is understood a deal has not been reached. 

Chairman Mickey Drexler left the business in January 2019, after more than 15 years at the company. The retailer appointed former Victoria’s Secret CEO Jan Singer as its new chief executive earlier this year.  

J Crew was taken private in a leverage buyout in 2010, before narrowly avoiding bankruptcy as part of a 2017 debt swap. 

The group recorded a net loss of $60.5m (£48.3m) for the first half of 2019, compared with a loss of $40m (£32m) in the first half of 2018. J Crew sales decreased 6% to $775m (£619m) in the period, while total revenues increased 4% to $1.2m (£906,000). 

J Crew declined to comment. 

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