Retailer seeks bankruptcy protection, cites storm

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm •  Published: January 7, 2013

Westport said in an emailed statement it was having ongoing talks with Big M following the storm and was "committed to promptly and fairly resolving Sandy related claims."

The bankruptcy filing claims the combination of the reduced business and the lack of insurance payments left Big M without the needed cash to operate, especially during the critical holiday period. Clothing retailers typically take in more than 20 percent of their annual sales during the holiday period, according to the National Retail Federation.

Big M estimated revenue for 12 months ending Jan. 26 will be about $192 million. It reported debt of about $15 million.

The company said it has an offer for up to $13.2 million in credit to see it through the bankruptcy process arranged through Salus Capital Partners, which helped finance the 2011 restructuring.

Mandee, an off-price clothing retailer, caters mainly to young women. Annie Sez and Afaze appeal to slightly older female shoppers.

Big M, founded in 1948, operates 129 stores in eight states and employs about 1,200 workers, including roughly 490 full-time employees. About 250 of its staffers are unionized.