January 20, 2021
Boutique Tristan & Iseut Inc., which operates the Montreal, Quebec-based Tristan fashion brand with 38 stores across Canada, filed for protection under the CCAA on January 20, listing approximately $32.9 million in liabilities, including $1.5 million to the National Bank of Canada. Various factors contributed to the company's financial difficulties. In recent years, Canadian clothing retailers, including Tristan, have faced increasing competition from online and foreign retailers. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the company's financial situation when the company experienced a further drop in traffic in its brick-and-mortar stores and it was forced to temporarily lay off more than 300 employees. In July 2020, the company filed an NOI under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (the "BIA"), with the time to file a proposal set to expire on January 21, 2021. Although the company's restructuring is largely complete, it is not yet ready to emerge from the restructuring process. As such, the company has sought an order authorizing the BIA proceedings to continue under the CCAA. Since the start of its restructuring, the company has operated in the normal course of business and has tried to stimulate demand by maintaining orders for new seasonal clothing collections. MNP was appointed monitor. Stikeman Elliott is counsel for the company.