Le Chateau Mayfair
(Le Chateau)

Le Château announced on Friday that it will be filing for creditor protection as it liquidates all assets and winds down its operations.

The clothing chain says the move follows blows to the retail industry from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the current second wave hitting communities across Canada.

“[COVID-19]’s already evident impact on consumer demand for Le Château’s holiday party and occasion wear, which represents the core of our offering, has diminished Le Château’s ability to pursue its activities,” the company said in a statement.

“Regrettably, these circumstances leave the Company with no option other than to commence the liquidation process.”

Attempts to sell the company to a third party or to refinance in order to continue operations also failed.

The closure of Le Château’s 123 stores across Canada, along with the elimination of its online presence, is expected to cost about 1400 jobs, including 500 office positions and 900 retail jobs.

The retail chain has two stores in Victoria, one at the Bay Centre and one at Mayfair Shopping Centre.

Le Château was originally founded in 1959 as a menswear store in Montreal. In 1962 the company began selling women’s clothing, and gradually moved to target a younger audience.

Prior to the closure announcement, the company quietly cancelled its annual shareholder meeting that was to be held on Friday, and said it would be seeking an order from the Court to suspend all further shareholder meetings.

Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every day.