Brookstone recently announced that it will close all of its stores located in shopping malls. The announcement came shortly after it filed for debt relief through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, the news is not all bad -- California consumers can still find Brookstone products online and in its airport locations.
Brookstone is well-known for its collection of neat gadgets, useful travel items and massage chairs. Founded in 1965, it used to be one of the few places shoppers could find certain tech tools, but it struggled to adapt to a digital world. In 2014 it had 240 stores but filed for bankruptcy and was purchased for $136 million. It now has 101 mall stores, all of which are set to close.
Vacancies in shopping malls hit a record high recently, with stores like Sears, Jared, GNC and more shuttering their storefronts and pulling out of these locations. As online shopping becomes even more popular, fewer consumers frequent brick and mortar stores. This includes shopping malls, where attendance has dwindled. CEO Steven Schwartz points to this and the company's failure to move into the digital market as the biggest reasons behind the most recent bankruptcy filing.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not the end of the road for California businesses. Indeed, many companies find that after reorganization they come back stronger than before, ready to move forward with their business. For some, this process may take only a few months, while bigger companies with more complex debt may spend a year or more before they come out of bankruptcy.