Ashley Stewart Owner Urban Brands Files for Bankruptcy

Urban Brands, parent company of apparel retailer Ashley Stewart, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after suffering three years of losses. The company's listed liabilities range from $100 million to $500 million, with assets of only $10 million to $50 million.

The chain has more than 200 stores in locations across the U.S., catering to plus-size urban African-American and Hispanic women. According to published reports, Ashley Stewart will continue with a business-as-usual strategy during its financial reorganization. Urban Brands is reportedly seeking a buyer for the chain, which has a strong brand name but has suffered during the recent economic downturn.

In 2009, Urban Brands posted a loss of $28.6 million, with sales falling to $174.6 million from $179.6 million the previous year.
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