Updated: Avenue closing all stores including three Delaware locations

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Avenue Stores, LLC, a women’s clothing retailer Avenue is joining the parade of mid-sized retailers closing their doors.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Wilmington as it winds down operations. Wilmington is a popular location for Chapter 11 filings of mid-sized retailers and restaurant chains that have been struggling with factors ranging from higher minimum wages to online competition.

The Wilmington law firm of Young, Conaway, Stargatt and Taylor is representing Avenue, which is based in New Jersey.

The women’s plus size clothing retailer, based in New Jersey, is now offering discounts at all 222 stores in 33 states. Avenue has three stores in Delaware at University Plaza south of Newark, Prices Corner, west of Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach.

The company plans to sell its online business, which is described as profitable.

David Rhoads, president and chief Financial Officer of Avenue, said, “As consumers have shifted away from physical stores to online retail channels in recent years, Avenue, like many other retailers, has been burdened with declining store traffic, unfavorable real estate obligations, increasing labor costs and growth in both general and specialty competitors, all of which culminated in a significant decrease in physical store productivity after many years of previously solid financial performance. At the same time, AVENUE.com accounts for roughly one-third of AVENUE’s business with a strong and growing revenue base that has continued to enjoy solid margins and profitability, making it clear that a shift to an e-commerce-only business model is the most viable way to continue serving Avenue’s loyal customers, whose needs for fit, fashion and value we hope to continue serving for years to come.”

All items, brands andin-store fixtures are being sold. The sale features great deals across all stores.

Retail store sales are being conducted by a joint venture consisting of Gordon Brothers and Hilco Merchant Resources.

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