Wikimedia Commons: Ajay Suresh

Sur La Table Files for Bankruptcy, Will Close 50+ Stores

It feels like every week there is another popular business filing for bankruptcy protection. Last week it was one of the largest franchisee owners of Pizza Hut and Wendy's. This week its Seattle-based kitchen chain Sur La Table. According to USA Today, the kitchenware chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday and announced plans to close 51 of its 121 stores and sell up to 70 stores to Fortress Investment Group, according to court documents. The sale will include its successful retail stores, popular in-person and online cooking classes, and its thriving eCommerce business.

Sur La Table Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Founded in Seattle's Pike Place Market in 1972, Sur La Table stores are known for their in-person cooking classes and top-rated cookware. Like many other stores, Sur La Table has had to be creative when it came to getting "back to normal". During the coronavirus pandemic store closures and local mandates, Sur La Table switched to online classes. According to the press release, cooking classes will stop at closing stores. Great American Group LLC and Tiger Capital Group LLC have been hired to conduct the going-out-of-business sales, which will be going on for the next eight to 12 weeks.

CEO Jason Goldberger commented in the press release:

This sale process will result in a revitalized Sur La Table, positioned to thrive in a post COVID-19 retail environment. 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.

Sur La Table is the latest retail casualty of the coronavirus, following companies such as Bed Bath & Beyond, who plans on closing 200 stores over the next two years, Tuesday Morning, Lucky Brand, J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, GNC, Brooks Brothers, and J. Crew. There's no doubt more retailers will be added to the list in the next few weeks.

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