Destination Maternity, one of the leading maternity wear retailers in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy on October 21st. The company owned 458 U.S. stores at last count, including 362 Motherhood Maternity Stores, 26 Pea in the Pod stores, and 70 Destination Maternity stores. The retailer also operates maternity apparel departments in stores like Macy’s and Buy Buy Baby.
“This decision is a difficult, but necessary one,” said Lisa Gavales, Chair of the Office of the CEO of the Company. “Throughout this process we will be focused on developing the promising interest already shown by potential bidders, and maintaining operational momentum toward a stronger business.”
Destination Maternity has been struggling to operate under its heavy debt load, all while facing tougher-than-ever competition from larger retailers like Gap, Old Navy, H&M, Target, and Walmart. It has also encountered increased competition from online competitors like Asos, Pink Blush, Zulily and Hatch.
These difficulties were compounded by a challenge that is facing other maternity and baby-focused retailers as well – a dwindling demographic. The U.S. birthrate dropped to a 32-year low in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Destination Maternity is currently working to find a buyer in bankruptcy. If it is unable to do so, it will most likely be forced to liquidate.