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We visited a Motherhood Maternity store after its parent company filed for bankruptcy and saw why the retailer is struggling
Destination Maternity filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, with plans to shutter 183 stores in its markets in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. As the largest global maternity company, Destination Maternity operates three brands specializing in clothing for expectant and mothers including its namesake Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity, and A Pea in the Pod. We visited a Motherhood Maternity store shortly after it filed for bankruptcy and saw firsthand why the retailer is struggling. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. Destination Maternity filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, citing a variety of factors including significant sales slumps and dwindling foot traffic, the declining national birth rate, and internal leadership shifts. According to the bankruptcy filing, the company plans to shutter 183 stores across its existing markets in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The retailer operates 458 stores total across its three maternity-focused brands, including its namesake Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity, and A Pea in the Pod. As the largest global maternity company, it also sells products within several major retailers including Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond. Read more: These 19 retailers have filed for bankruptcy or liquidation in 2019 As it moves into bankruptcy proceedings, Destination Maternity will attempt to find a buyer and work toward restructuring, but not without its 1,100 full-time and 2,300 part-time employees likely taking a hit. The mall brand has struggled to stay afloat amid a rise of competing e-commerce brands and rental companies that cater to expectant mothers, paired with a national birth rate that hit a 32-year-low in 2018. We visited a Motherhood Maternity store in Brooklyn, New York shortly after the bankruptcy announcement and saw firsthand how the company has been struggling. We visited the Motherhood Maternity store at the Atlantic Terminal Mall in Downtown Brooklyn, a major shopping and transportation hub for several subway lines.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business Insider Motherhood Maternity has the largest amount of stores in the Destination Maternity brand portfolio with 362 national locations, compared to 70 Destination Maternity stores and 26 Pea in the Pod locations.As we walked into the store, we saw several signs for its buy-one-get-one 50% off promotion. We were also immediately alerted to the sale by the friendly sales associates.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business Insider In its most recent earnings call, Destination Maternity reported that comparable sales had dropped by 11.9%. The company currently holds $244 million in debt and $260.2 million in assets, according to its bankruptcy filing. When we arrived shortly after 11 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, there were very few people in the store, save for a few people browsing clearance racks in the back.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderThe physical infrastructure of the store was pretty worse for wear, like this column that has seen better days to the right of the floor display.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderThe register area also appeared equally run down.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderThe store was organized into different lifestyle sections, including this area designated for work clothing, where we spotted more sale signs.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderThere was also a section for casual clothing, which was stocked with T-shirts emblazoned with cheeky sayings like “You’re kickin’ me smalls.”Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderThe store’s displays as well as its employees exuded a strong sense of empowerment for expectant mothers and a mindful approach to dressing their changing bodies.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderThere were also several educational signs throughout the store, including this one explaining that Destination Maternity’s clothing is “sized similarly to non-maternity clothes and are made to fit your changing shape.”Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderAs we got deeper into the store, we saw racks of low-priced nursing T-shirts for as low as $15.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business Insider While many areas were overstocked and untouched, in other areas, the shelves were bare. Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderAs we neared the back of the store, we saw several signs of a store in transitional flux, including this ladder in the middle of the store …Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business Insider… and this disorganized shelf with a sign for nursing products but none in sight, as well as this box of cleaning supplies.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderThere were also various metal rack structures scattered on shelves.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderIn the clearance section, there were several cardboard boxes of product piled up in the corner.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business InsiderUltimately, its friendly sales associates and informational displays may not be enough to save Motherhood Maternity.Foto: sourceBethany Biron/Business Insider However, Destination Maternity is working to find a buyer to prevent liquidation and preserve its three brands, so only time will tell what the future holds. The post We visited a Motherhood Maternity store after its parent company filed for bankruptcy and saw why the retailer is struggling appeared first on Business Insider Nederland.
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