The Bridal House, an Edmonton, Alberta-based bridal boutique, filed an assignment in bankruptcy on September 10. In a message on its website, the company, which had served Edmonton area brides for 27 years, cited the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shutdown of non-essential businesses and limited retail capacity as the reasons for its filing. Faber is the bankruptcy trustee.
Ben & Tournesol Ltée, Westmount, Quebec-based gift shop, filed an NOI on September 9, listing approximately $300,000 in liabilities. MNP is the proposal trustee.
The Mustard Seed Co-operative Grocery Inc., a Hamilton, Ontario-based member-owned, not-for-profit grocery store that focuses on locally-grown produce, filed for bankruptcy on August 30, listing approximately $64.9 thousand in assets and $416.1 thousand in liabilities. Due to declining sales, the co-op has been unable to pay its food suppliers in a timely fashion. Prior to the bankruptcy, the co-op asked its members to give $400 each to pay off the amounts it owes to suppliers, but the process was unsuccessful. BDO is the bankruptcy trustee.
Trend Savvy Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based retailer of designer brand clothing and sunglasses, filed for bankruptcy on August 18, listing approximately $2 thousand in assets and $2.1 million in liabilities, including $380 thousand to Investissement Quebec, $335 thousand to BDC, and $250 thousand to CIBC. Richter is the bankruptcy trustee.
MO Boutique, a Lévis, Quebec-based clothing boutique, filed for bankruptcy on July 29, listing approximately $23.5 thousand in assets and $491 thousand in liabilities, including $89.6 thousand to BDC and $70 thousand to Desjardins. Mallette is the bankruptcy trustee.
2104678 Ontario Inc. (aka Yorkdale Hardwood Flooring Centre), a Toronto, Ontario-based wholesaler and retailer of flooring and hardware supplies, filed for bankruptcy on May 27, listing approximately $531.8 thousand in liabilities and $177 thousand in assets. The company attributes its insolvency to two main factors: (1) a reduced customer base during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an inability to pay vendors; and (2) uncertainty of being able to extend its lease past the expiry on June 2021 given that the building is up for sale. Farber is the bankruptcy trustee.
1465770 Alberta Ltd. o/a Westlake Husky, a Lloydminster, Alberta-based company that operates a gas station and convenience store, was placed in receivership on March 24 on application by RBC, owed approximately $1.2 million. EY was appointed receiver. Counsel is Dentons for RBC and DLA Piper for the receiver.
0932293 B.C. Ltd. (o/a CELLICON), an Abbottsford, British Columbia-based company that provides retail sales of wireless accessories, as well as phone repair services at mall-based kiosks and stores, was deemed to have filed an assignment in bankruptcy on March 2, listing approximately $362.0 thousand in assets and $1.8 million in liabilities. Most of CELLICON's locations are operated by independent operators under Management Services Agreements ("MSAs"). Like others in the retail sector, CELLICON's business was adversely impacted by the various restrictions and closures arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, CELLICON's cash flows were negatively impacted by certain operators' refusal or inability to pay the fees due under the MSAs. In response, on February 19, CELLICON filed an NOI with a view to stabilizing its business. After CELLICON realized it could not fund payment of its March 2021 rent, however, it chose not to file the cash flow projections required under the BIA, resulting in it being deemed to have filed an assignment in bankruptcy. Counsel to certain of the operators have indicated that the MSAs are not compliant with various franchise laws across Canada and, as such, have advised that the operators will have claims against CELLICON that would set off any amounts owed under the MSAs. MNP is the bankruptcy trustee.
Change of Scandinavia Canada Retail Inc., a Montreal, Quebec-based privately-held retailer which currently operates 26 stores across Canada under the name CHANGE Lingerie (the "Brand"), filed an NOI on March 2, listing approximately $4.1 million in liabilities, including $2.0 million to RBC. The Brand was founded in 2006 in Denmark and has over 200 stores worldwide. This NOI only pertains to the Canadian entity. Given the COVID-19 environment and impact on the retail sector, the company has suffered significant losses and a major reduction in sales. The company is currently looking to restructure its operations, which may include the closure of certain points of sale. Richter is the proposal trustee. Counsel is Kugler Kandestin for the company and Norton Rose Fulbright for the proposal trustee.
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.