Sur La Table is slashing its store footprint as it seeks to prosper under new ownership.
The nearly 50-year-old, upscale kitchenware retailer said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after considering the "rationalization of its national store footprint and “certain store closures to prosper in the current retail environment.” On its FAQ page, the privately held Sur La Table said it has decided to close over 50 of its 121 stores (see list at end of article). Great American Group LLC and Tiger Capital Group LLC will conduct the liquidation sales, which are expected to last eight to 12 weeks.
“We have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reduce the company’s expenses and recover from the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis,” the company stated on its FAQ page.
Similar to many other retailers that have cited the pandemic in filing for bankruptcy, Sur La Table was struggling before the current crisis amid heavy competition from Amazon and other online players, along with such traditional chains as Target. While its in-store cooking classes have been a big hit, retail sales had been on a downward track, according to reports.
Sur La Table has arranged a "stalking horse" bid with affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, which is working with STORY3 Capital Partners to bring "capital and deep consumer expertise" to revive the company.
"This sale process will result in a revitalized Sur La Table, positioned to thrive in a post-COVID-19 retail environment," CEO Jason Goldberger said in the statement. “Sur La Table will have a balance sheet and retail footprint optimized to position the company for a bright future that continues our nearly 50-year tradition of offering high-quality cooking products and experiences to our customers.”
In its bankruptcy filing, Sur La Table had assets estimated at $10 million to $50 million with liabilities estimated at $50 million to $100 million.
Here is the list of Sur La Table stores that are listed as closing in the company’s filing.