August 2, 2018 / 4:00 PM / 4 months ago

Gift store chain Brookstone files for bankruptcy

(Reuters) - Gadget and gift chain Brookstone has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in five years, it said on Thursday, the latest U.S. retailer to succumb to a prolonged decline in shopping at malls.

Brookstone is also seeking a buyer for some of its stores while beginning a process to close its roughly 100 mall outlets, it said, confirming a Reuters report that it was exploring restructuring options including shuttering stores.

As shoppers increasingly flock to Amazon.com (AMZN.O) and other e-commerce platforms, brick-and-mortar retailers have struggled to grow demand, leading many household names including Toys ‘R’ Us and Radioshack to file for bankruptcy protection in recent years.

Brookstone’s airport stores, popular for their luggage products, neck pillows and travel gear, will continue operating at 35 locations. Its e-commerce and wholesale businesses will also remain operational.

“Our airport, e-commerce and wholesale business divisions ... should prove attractive to a buyer with the financial resources and vision to carry our company into the future,” Brookstone Chief Executive Officer Piau Phang Foo said in a statement.

Brookstone filed for bankruptcy and emerged in 2014 under the ownership of a consortium of Chinese investors but its U.S. business has struggled even as the brand has gained traction in Asia.

It retained 240 stores after emerging from the bankruptcy, but has shuttered underperforming locations over the years.

Brookstone has engaged Berkeley Research Group as its financial adviser and GLC Advisors & Co as investment banker.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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