Crabtree & Evelyn files Chapter 11 bankruptcy to clean up its act

One would think that people would always need soap, but maybe not the hoity-toity scented soaps and lotions – as soap and lotion seller Crabtree & Evelyn has filed for bankruptcy protection. Crabtree & Evelyn is owned by Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK), which is a publicly traded Malaysian firm. However, Crabtree & Evelyn Holdings is a British company. The company was founded in 1973.

The retailer has seen sales drop during the past 10 months, mainly due to fewer customers shopping at malls, which is where many of Crabtree & Evelyn's stores are located (including Copley Place in Boston, Watertower Place in Chicago, and Embarcadero Center in San Francisco).

Unfortunately for Crabtree & Evelyn, it joins a growing list of failed retailers that includes Steve & Barry's, Eddie Bauer, Filene's Basement, Linens 'N Things, Mervyns, and Circuit City. In the company's court filing, Crabtree & Evelyn reported $46.2 million in debt with just $31.7 million in assets as of March 31. It is reportedly, asking permission to seek a $40 million loan from KLK to help in its restructuring.