A Le Chateau store at Eaton Centre in Toronto. Photo courtesy Google Maps.A Le Chateau store at Eaton Centre in Toronto. Photo courtesy Google Maps.

Canadian retailer to shutter operations

A popular women's fashion chain is the latest Canadian retailer to fall victim to the slumping economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Le Château Inc., which is based in Montreal, announced Friday that it had filed a Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCHA) application to protect its assets, while it liquidates and winds down operations, according to a media release posted on the company's corporate website.

The chain has 123 stores across Canada, including one at Devonshire Mall in Windsor and one at White Oaks mall in London. The company also maintains a website that serves customers in both Canada and the U.S.

In its release, the company said every effort was made to keep the company afloat.

"The retail industry faced numerous challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the second wave currently hitting our communities across Canada," the company said. "Its already evident impact on consumer demand for Le Château’s holiday party and occasion wear, which represents the core of our offering, has diminished Le Château’s ability to pursue its activities."

There were 900 people employed in the chain's stores, plus 500 at the head office in Montreal.

"We regret the impact this will have on our people and can assure you that we explored all options available to us prior to taking this difficult decision," the company said. "We also thank the fashion schools and the business partners that have been part of our legacy and wish them continued success in keeping Montréal the fashion centre of Canada. Most importantly, we thank the millions of Canadians whom we have had the privilege of serving over the past six decades."

There is no word on when the stores will close.

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