Aeropostale closes 8 stores in Ohio

Aeropostale, once the vibrant epicenter of the U.S. mall scene, is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closing 20 percent of its stores in North America, including eight in Ohio.

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.

No Dayton area stores will close as part of the bankruptcy plan. Stores at Tri-County and Eastgate malls in the Cincinnati area will close.

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.

In the filing, CEO Julian Geiger lashed out at Sycamore, which he accused of hampering the company’s turnaround plans.

Almost every teen retailer has suffered under a vastly altered consumer landscape that took root during the recession. Fast fashion” outfits like H&M and Forever 21, with more inexpensive clothes, have emerged in recent years to take a growing market share from Aeropostale, Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters, stores that not so long ago dominated the retail sector.

Once worth almost $2.6 billion, Aeropostale’s market capitalization has fallen to about $2 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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