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Showfields — most ‘interesting store in the world’ — files for Chapter 11

The “style zone’  features a wide range of   apparel, accessory and beauty brands.
Showfields has closed two of its five stores.

A department store retailer that opened its first store in 2019 in New York City has filed for bankruptcy.

Showfields, which billed itself as “the most interesting store in the world,” filed for bankruptcy protection and will move forward under the Small Business Reorganization Act’s Subchapter V, according to the filing. (Subchapter V is designed to help small businesses keep operating, reorganize, and maintain control of their finances without creditors taking control.) As of the filing, the company had only approximately $3,117.58 of cash on hand.

In recent months, Showfields closed its original store in downtown Manhattan as well as its Miami outpost. The company will continue to operate its three remaining locations in Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; and Brooklyn, New York, which opened last November.

Showfields doesn't operate on a wholesale model. Instead,  it features a rotating selection of  emerging, mostly digitally native brands fashion, beauty, wellness and home goods that operate as pop-ups in the store. The brands pay a fee to Showfields depending on the amount of space they take and the number of SKUs displayed.

In its filing, Showfields cited the COVID-19 pandemic for the beginning of its troubles.

"As with most commercial enterprises established almost immediately prior to and during the Covid-19 pandemic, the debtor was plagued with lower-than-expected revenue streams from the non-debtor Stores due to low member sales resulting from the national lockdown and gradual reopening of public spaces across the country," the company stated.

According to a report by WWD, Showfields has lined up financing to support its restructuring, with the money to be used for completing the sunsetting of the two stores that closed earlier this year, paying outstanding bills, increasing marketing and expanding the Brooklyn store among other purposes.  Tal Nathanel, CEO and co-founder of Showfields, told WWD that the company is “very proud” of its business model and investors.

“We have learned so much,” he said. “The leases in Brooklyn and D.C. reflect what we learned from signing the other leases. They have better terms because they offer us flexibility, price components based on performance and exit windows for both the tenant and the landlord.”

Nathanel also told WWD that Showfields sees “great things ahead.”

“While it took us a few years to fine-tune, today, we know the right economic structure for new locations, as we have shown in our newest stores,” he said.

 To read the complete WWD story, click here.

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