FTI Consulting guides Aéropostale through Chapter 11 comms

The retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week as it tries to reduce costs by shrinking its store footprint and optimizing efficiencies.

NEW YORK: FTI Consulting is advising Aéropostale on communications and finance as the retailer files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

FTI is serving as a financial and communications adviser, while Weil, Gotshal & Manges is the company’s counsel. Stifel Financial is advising on strategic alternatives throughout the process, said Rachel Rosenblatt, MD of strategic communications at FTI.

FTI has served as Aéropostale’s AOR since 2009, she said. Rosenblatt declined to comment on the company’s communications strategy.

Aéropostale filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday in New York, and it expects to emerge from the Chapter 11 process in the next six months. The company is planning to close 113 stores in the U.S. and 41 in Canada.

Aéropostale also rolled out a website to answer customers’ questions about the restructuring process. It includes resource pages and contact information for customers, employees, suppliers, licensees, and landlords. In a letter posted to the site, CEO Julian Geiger stressed that its stores are open and it is continuing to pay employees and offer promotions.

The company, which has closed more than 200 locations since 2013, said in a statement issued on Wednesday that it wants to reduce its store base, increase operating efficiencies, and reduce expenses. It is continuing its sale process.

Aeropostale is one of a handful of retailers struggling to adapt to customers’ changing tastes. California-based Pacific Sunwear also declared bankruptcy last month, while Gap and J.Crew have reported disappointing financial numbers in the past year.

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