SOURCE: The Walking Company Holdings, Inc.

The Walking Company Holdings, Inc.

December 07, 2009 19:00 ET

The Walking Company Holdings, Inc. Announces Chapter 11 Filing and Plan of Reorganization

SANTA BARBARA, CA--(Marketwire - December 7, 2009) - The Walking Company Holdings, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: WALK); today filed for voluntary Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in Santa Barbara, CA. The Walking Company is seeking to shed its unprofitable stores and emerge from Chapter 11 in early 2010.

Early in 2009, The Walking Company implemented a major restructuring in order to try to survive the difficult retail environment. As a result of rapidly expanding its store chain between 2005 and 2008, the vast majority of the lease rents for The Walking Company's stores are now, in the current weak economic environment, at or above the market rates for malls across the United States. While the restructuring was successful on most fronts, The Walking Company was largely unsuccessful getting its landlords to adjust the occupancy costs under its leases. Filing for Chapter 11 will allow the Company to shed its unprofitable stores and emerge financially strong and able to weather this tough retail cycle. The Walking Company plans to file its plan of reorganization within the next few weeks.

"This action is an unfortunate but necessary and responsible step to preserve The Walking Company's value for its secured creditors, vendors, landlords, additional creditors and employees in light of the ongoing challenging retail environment," said Andrew Feshbach, CEO of The Walking Company. Feshbach stated further, "We believe our business model is sustainable in today's world, despite declining consumer spending and mall traffic at present. However, the unfortunate timing of our rapid expansion caused us to enter into lease commitments at what now appears to be the high water mark for retail space. The chapter process will allow us to shed our unprofitable stores and go forward as a financially viable retailer."

The company's Chapter 11 counsel is Arent Fox LLP and the Company's financial advisor is Clear Thinking Group LLC.


The Walking Company Holdings, Inc. (the "Company") consists of its The Walking Company and Big Dogs subsidiaries. The Walking Company is a leading independent specialty retailer of high-quality, technically designed comfort footwear and accessories that features premium brands such as ECCO, Dansko, UGG Australia, MBT and Aetrex, among many others. These products have particular appeal to one of the largest and most rapidly growing demographics in the nation. The Walking Company operates over 210 stores in premium malls across the nation. Big Dogs develops, markets and retails a branded, lifestyle collection of unique, high-quality, popular-priced consumer products, including active wear, casual sportswear, accessories and gifts.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995- With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are forward looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The actual future sales and other results of the Company could differ significantly from those statements.

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