Retailer bankruptcies rewriting the Tri-City shopping map

A wave of retail bankruptcies is closing Tri-City stores or putting their futures in question. Here is a look at the chains that have filed for protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court this year and what that means for their local stores.

Tuesday Morning

Tri-City location: 7411 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick

Status: Closing by Aug. 31

Tuesday Morning, a Dallas-based home furnishings retailer, notified local customers it will close its Kennewick store by email on July 23. It filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in May, saying it planned to permanently close 230 of its 687 stores.

Bankruptcy documents:

Tailored Brands

Parent to Men’s Wearhouse

Tri-City location: 7500 W. Quinault Ave., Columbia Square, Kennewick

Status: Open with restricted hours and occupancy. Call: 509-735-5341

Tailored Brands filed for protection under Chapter 11 on Aug. 2, two weeks after it said it would close up to 500 stores. The Kennewick store was not in the list of the 100 locations slated to close in the first round, according to court documents.

Bankruptcy documents:

Ascena Retail Group

Parent to Ann Taylor Loft, Lane Bryant, Justice and Catherines

Tri-City locations: Ann Taylor Loft, Lane Bryant and Justice stores at Kennewick’s Columbia Center. Catherines is at 6501 W. Grandridge Blvd.

Status: Ann Taylor Loft and Justice are open as the mall operates at limited capacity. Lane Bryant is closed. Catherines is closing but a final day has not been set. Call: 509-378-3311.

New Jersey-based Ascena filed for Chapter 11 on July 23, saying it planned to close more than half its 2,800 stores.

Bankruptcy documents:

J.C. Penney Company Inc.

Tri-City location: Columbia Center, Kennewick

Status: Open

Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney filed for protection under Chapter 11 on May 15, saying it has entered a restructuring support agreement with lenders who hold approximately 70% of its first lien debt. In June, it hired liquidation firms to shutter 137 stores, which it described as the company’s “first step” in implementing a planned “store optimization strategy.” That signals more closures in the future.

The Kennewick store is not on the current store closure list, but J.C. Penney locations in Omak and Sunnyside are.

Bankruptcy documents:

Pier 1 Imports Inc.

Tri-City location: 1232 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Kennewick

Status: Closing, no date set, but likely within next two months.

Fort Worth, Texas-based Pier 1 Inc. filed for protection under Chapter 11 on Feb. 17, following a Jan. 6 announcement it planned to close 450 stores nationwide and all of its Canadian locations.

However, when a bankruptcy auction failed to lead to a sale of the company, Pier 1 said it would close all remaining stores after conducting liquidation sales. The Kennewick store is holding a going out of business sale.

Bankruptcy site:

GNC Holdings Inc.

Tri-City locations: 2819 W. Kennewick Ave., Columbia Center mall, 2663 Queensgate Drive, Richland, Rite Aid locations.

Status: In business

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based parent to GNC Live Well nutrition centers filed for protection under Chapter 11 on June 23. A bankruptcy auction will be held Sept. 8, with a bid deadline of Sept. 4.

The company said it planned to use the bankruptcy process to accelerate plans to close 800 to 1,200 corporate-owned stores, some of which were previously announced.

No Tri-City stores were on the closure list as of Aug. 3.

Bankruptcy documents:

Forever 21 Inc.

Tri-City location: Announced for Columbia Center, Kennewick

Status: Never opened

Los Angeles-based Forever 21 Inc. stirred considerable excitement in January 2019 when Columbia Center said the fast-fashion retailer would open a 12,000-square-foot store near Victoria’s Secret. The space was readied, but Forever 21 never moved in.

Eight months later, on Sept. 29, the company and its affiliates filed for Chapter 11. Bankruptcy documents identify 27 stores slated for closure, including one of its 10 Washington stores, at Tukwila’s Southcenter mall.

On Feb. 2, Forever 21 announced it had entered an $81 million deal to sell its assets to a consortium that includes Columbia Center mall owner Simon Property Group. The case is ongoing.

Bankruptcy documents:

CEC Entertainment Inc.

Parent to Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants

Tri-City location: 6340 W. Rio Grande Ave., Kennewick

Status: Kennewick franchise is closed in Phase 1.

Irving, Texas-based CEC Entertainment Inc. and affiliates filed for Chapter 11 on June 25. The company said it expected to maintain operations at the 266 company-operated Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza restaurants.

The balance of its 736 locations are operated by franchisees, including the newly relocated one in Kennewick.

Franchise owner John Corbin and his family invested $4 million to build the new location near Vista Field. It moved from its Richland Wye location in October 2018. Corbin said the CEC bankruptcy has no effect on his business, though his restaurant is closed because Benton County was still in Phase 1 of the Safe Start pandemic recovery program as of Aug. 6. Call: 509-737-0484.

Bankruptcy documents:

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