Nine West to file for bankruptcy, sell intellectual property: Report

Struggling footwear retailer Nine West is preparing to file for bankruptcy by as early as this week, according to a report Thursday.

Aside from the bankruptcy filing, the White Plains, New York, company is planning to sell its intellectual property to Authentic Brands Group, a licensing firm that recently said it would purchase clothing brand Nautica, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Nine West will direct the sale proceeds toward about $1.5 billion in outstanding debt.

Nine West missed a debt payment in March. As a result, the retailer had 30 days to either make the payment or declare bankruptcy, the report said. Nine West plans to continue operations, with creditors receiving shares of its business in place of debt payments.

Nine West representatives had not responded to FOX Business’s request for comment at the time of publication. The company is currently owned by Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm.

U.S. retailers have struggled in recent years amid declining customer traffic in brick-and-mortar stores and the rise of e-commerce outlets such as Amazon. Retail bankruptcies hit a six-year high in 2017, with 50 companies filing for the protection, according to data from S&P Global.

Several prominent retailers have filed for bankruptcy or shuttered stores, including Toys “R” Us, which is in the process of liquidating assets at all of its more than 700 U.S. locations amid sagging sales and mounting debt.