Business

All Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity stores in Canada to close down

Reitmans will shutter 77 Addition Elle and 54 Thyme Maternity stores across Canada as part of its restucturing process, the Montreal-based retailer announced Tuesday.

Reitmans restructuring leads to demise of plus-sized and maternity chains that it owns

Addition Elle, whose brand is shown here at a fashion show in New York in 2018, focused on the plus-sized segment of the market. Thyme Maternity focused on maternity clothes, and both chains will now shut down as part of Reitman's restructuring. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Reitmans will shutter 77 Addition Elle and 54 Thyme Maternity stores across Canada as part of its restructuring process, the Montreal-based retailer announced Tuesday.

Last month, the 94-year-old fashion chain announced that it would restructure its operations partly because of COVID-19, which hammered retailers hard. Corporate filings show the parent company lost $87.4 million in its last fiscal year, and it owes $92 million to more than 1,600 creditors.

In addition to its eponymous chain focusing on work clothes for career-aged women, Reitmans also runs the Addition Elle, Thyme Maternity, RW & Co. and Penningtons chains.

As part of the restructuring process, Reitmans has decided to permanently close Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity. The former focuses on plus size fashions. The latter on maternity wear.

The move will result in the loss of about 1,400 jobs — 1,100 in store and about 300 at head office.

Reitmans has been around sine 1926 but the COVID-19 pandemic hurt the retail business hard. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

"The strategic decision to close two beloved Canadian fashion brands was not made lightly, but it is necessary to enable our business to move forward as a profitable organization,"  CEO Stephen Reitman said.

"All of the efforts we put forth to turn these brands around were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and, unfortunately, we can no longer afford the required resources to bring them back to profitability."

Locations of both chains are set to reopen in the coming days, subject to physical distancing restrictions across the country, but the two retail chains will be in wind-down mode, liquidating as much inventory as possible to pay back creditors.

The last day for Thyme Maternity will be July 18.

The last day for Addition Elle will come the next month, on August 15.

Company wide, before the restructuring process began Reitmans had 576 stores across Canada, including 259 Reitmans, 106 Penningtons and 80 RW & CO. locations. Many stores for the surviving three brand names will also close, as the company plans to put more focus into selling online.

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