Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle
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Seattle-based Sur La Table has filed for bankruptcy protection as it prepares for a corporate sale and store closures, making the upscale cookware chain the latest retailer to buckle under the strain of pandemic-related shutdowns.
The company expects to close nearly half of its 120 stores, according to CNN. Like many of the retailers tipped into bankruptcy after the outbreak forced their brick-and-mortar locations to go quiet, Sur La Table was carrying a significant amount of debt.
In late June, the company laid off 27 employees, a fifth of its corporate staff, without severance pay.
In June, Sur La Table told the Seattle Times that online sales have seen “record growth” since the pandemic as more people avoided restaurants and cooked meals at home – or spent time stress-baking.
Sur La Table chief executive Jason Goldberger said in a Thursday news release that the 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,” he said.
The cookware chain is yet another retail standby forced to restructure during the pandemic recession. Menswear titan Brooks Brothers filed for Chapter 11 on Wednesday amid a search for a buyer. J.C. Penney, J. Crew and Neiman Marcus are among the other brands that have sought bankruptcy court protection since May.
The company filed for bankruptcy late Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.
Sur La Table files for bankruptcy, will close dozens of stores – SF Gate