Bakers Footwear Liquidates Last 56 Stores

A&G Realty Partners LLC has been retained to handle the liquidation of Bakers Footwear Group Inc.'s remaining 56 retail stores located in premier mall shopping centers around the country.

An auction for the store leases is expected to be held on February 18, with a deadline to submit bids to A&G Realty by Feb. 21. Founded in 1929 under a different name, Bakers Footwear Group stores target women between 12 and 29 years old, selling merchandise including private label and national brand dress, casual and sport shoes, boots, sandals and accessories.

"Bakers' real estate has begun to create interest among various shoe retailers, particularly those interested in access to premier locations in some of the top malls in the country," said Michael Jerbich, a partner at A&G Realty Partners, who is managing the court-supervised sale process.

Bakers Footwear Group, once a leading mall-based retailer of shoes for young women, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2012, case no. 12-49658, because of declining sales. Before the St. Louis-based footwear retailed filed its bankruptcy petition it operated 236 Bakers and Wild Pair shoe stores in 37 states.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Charles Rendlen III for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis approved the Chapter 7 order on Jan. 15, 2013, allowing Bakers Footwear Group to conduct going-out-of-business sales at its remaining stores, including the liquidation of its retail properties.

Baker's intellectual property assets are being marketed by investment banking firm Consensus Advisors. Consensus managing director, Thomas Scotti, said, "Bakers Footwear Groups' core tradenames have been in use for 90 years. The company has sold billions of dollars of shoes to young women from stores all over the U.S. and from its successful website. The company has a customer list of 1.5 million names, many of whom are active and engaged customers of the brand."

Bakers Footwear Group is one of many retailers to engage A&G in recent months to sell or restructure their real estate holdings. Ascena Retail Group Inc., a leading national specialty retailer of apparel for women and teen girls, recently engaged A&G Realty to manage the resolution of 258 Fashion Bug store leases in connection with its acquisition of Charming Shoppes Inc.
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