CANADIAN RETAILERS: JACOB

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Jacob will close its doors for good, despite an attempt to reinvent itself as a smaller chain
Hollie Shaw | October 21, 2014 | Last Updated: Oct 21 3:23 PM ET
More from Hollie Shaw | @HollieKShaw

Attempts to keep fashion retailer Boutique Jacob Inc. open as a smaller chain have failed and the company will begin liquidating stores immediately, the retailer said Tuesday.

The news comes after Jacob announced in May it intended to close and liquidate its 92 stores, but later received several court extensions to try to keep about 40 stores open.

“Jacob’s founders were moved and inspired to head back to the drawing board and find solutions to try to breathe new life into the company,” after an outpouring of support for the company in the spring, Christelle Basmaji, company marketing director and daughter of the Montreal-based apparel company’s founder and president Joseph Basmaji, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Jacob team worked diligently over the past few months to develop a viable relaunch plan and find new sources of financing. Unfortunately, the increasingly difficult economic context and the significant decrease in mall traffic weakened the company’s fragile financial situation and forced it to close its doors.”

Jacob also filed for creditor protection under the companies creditors’ arrangement act in late 2010 and restructured its operations.

The 35-year-old retailer is one of many small Canadian apparel chains to buckle under the competitive pressure from much larger fast-fashion chains such as Loblaw’s Joe Fresh, Forever 21, H&M and Zara. Le Chateau, Reitmans, Danier and Bikini Village have struggled with slower sales and closed unproductive stores in recent years.

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