“It’s a brand that has really struggled to differentiate itself,” said Sucharita Kodali, retail analyst for market research firm Forrester. “The only bright spot in the footwear industry has been sportswear, and that’s not what Nine West sells.”
Nine West, which is owned by private equity firm Sycamore Capital, owes more than $1 billion to as many as 50,000 creditors, according to court documents filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court in New York.
The company said it was in talks to sell its Nine West and Bandolino shoe and handbag businesses to Authentic Brands Group, which oversees a range of brands including Neil Lane, Frye, Aeropostale and Juicy Couture.
“This is the right step to address our two divergent business profiles,” Ralph Schipani, chief executive of Nine West Holdings, said in a statement.
Nine West is the latest in a string of high-profile retailers to file for bankruptcy over the past year as heavy debt loads and shifting consumer preferences weigh on the industry. Claire’s, Bon-Ton and The Walking Company are among those that have filed for bankruptcy so far this year, and analysts say more are likely to follow. toys r uswhich filed for bankruptcy in September, is in the process of liquidating all of its 800 stores in the United States.