Citing the Impact of COVID-19, Solstice Sunglasses Files for Bankruptcy Protection, With Plans to Reorganize

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NEW YORK—Solstice Marketing Concepts LLC, parent company of the Solstice Sunglasses retail chain, said last week that it has filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition for relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. According to the company’s announcement, Solstice Sunglasses is the second-largest retailer of sunglasses in the U.S., and it is planning to complete a financial reorganization and emerge from bankruptcy. The number of Solstice locations operating at the time of the bankruptcy filing was not available at presstime.

“We are optimistic about reorganization as we continue to see increasing business in our stores as COVID restrictions are lifted and in the new fashions that our vendors are providing,” Solstice chief executive officer Mikey Rosenberg said in the announcement. “We are now dedicating ourselves to the necessary changes to our business and the restructure of our obligations for the benefit of our employees, critical suppliers and other stakeholders.”

The business was previously owned by Safilo Group S.p.A., which in May 2019 agreed to sell the business to Fairway LLC (an affiliate company of Solstice Marketing Concepts) for an undisclosed amount, as VMAIL reported. There were 73 Solstice locations in the U.S. at that time, of which 28 were outlets.

Solstice, which calls itself a luxury sunglasses boutique carrying an assortment of designer, contemporary and sport sunglasses, said it “intends to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy as a going concern,” the announcement noted. The retailer has locations in outlet centers, malls and urban centers, and also has an online presence at solsticesunglasses.com.

Solstice reported that its retail store business has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. As a result of mandatory store closures in key markets and stay-at-home orders throughout the country, Solstice said its retail sales during the pandemic have been more than 50 percent lower than 2019, with limited relief to compensate for stores being closed and shoppers afraid or unable to shop.

In addition, Solstice said it is seeking financing upon bankruptcy court approval to fund ongoing operations during the restructuring process.

The company has retained Morgan, Lewis & Bockius as its legal counsel, RCS Real Estate Advisors to advise on all store leases, and KCP Advisory Group’s Jacen Dinoff as chief restructuring officer.