Aeropostale Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) — Aeropostale, once the vibrant epicenter of the U.S. mall scene, is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The New York company said Wednesday that it is closing 113 of its 739 U.S. stores and all 41 locations in Canada. Going-out-of-business sales at those U.S. stores will begin this weekend.

The company’s Hyannis location at the Cape Cod Mall will remain open. The only Massachusetts store closing is the Worcester location.

Aeropostale expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection within six months as a smaller company after renegotiating contracts and resolving an ongoing dispute with the investment firm Sycamore Partners, a major shareholder that pushed through changes in company leadership.

The company’s shares traded for more than $30 six years ago, when annual sales exceeded $2 billion. Two weeks ago, it was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange with shares having failed to break the $1 barrier since last year.

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