Aeropostale, one-time mall king, seeks bankruptcy protection

Aeropostale, once the vibrant epicenter of the U.S. mall scene, is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The New York company said Wednesday that it is closing 113 of its 739 U.S. stores and all 41 locations in Canada. Going-out-of-business sales at those U.S. stores will begin this weekend.

Aeropostale expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection within six months as a smaller company after renegotiating contracts and resolving an ongoing dispute with the investment firm Sycamore Partners, a major shareholder that pushed through changes in company leadership.

The company's shares traded for more than $30 six years ago, when annual sales exceeded $2 billion. Two weeks ago, it was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange with shares having failed to break the $1 barrier since last year.

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