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USA TODAY

Clothing retailer Christopher & Banks, which has been serving women over the age of 40, is the latest clothing chain to apply for protection against bankruptcy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minneapolis-based company announced Thursday that it has filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey County. Chistopher & Banks said in a news release that it “expects to close a significant portion, if not all, of its brick and mortar stores.”

The company said it had launched a “store closure and liquidation process” and was “in active discussion with potential buyers” to sell its online business and related assets.

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Kerry Jones, president and CEO, said the company has

“We have taken aggressive steps to protect our business while continuing to serve our customers in a healthy and safe environment” since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Despite the tremendous progress we have made in implementing our strategic plan due to the financial stress of the pandemic and its continued impact, we have chosen to initiate this process and continue the potential sale of the business in whole or in part to position the Company for the future.” Jones said in a statement.

The company hinted that bankruptcy was imminent when it announced on December 10 that it was hiring strategic advisers and working on debt refinancing and exploring alternatives.

In June, the company received a $ 10 million loan under the Wage Protection Program in June.

As of January 13, the company said it operates 449 stores in 44 countries, including 315 Missy, Petite, Women stores, 76 stores, 31 Christopher & Banks stores and 28 CJ Banks stores.

Last week, Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond confirmed the closure of stores in 2021. JC Penney announced in December that it would close additional stores.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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