Vitamin World to file for Chapter 11 protection

US retailer Vitamin World is to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection hoping that will allow it to exit lease deals and trim its 345-strong store network.

The New York-headquartered retailer which sells vitamins and dietary supplements, says it inherited a lot of expensive leases from its previous owners and the rent burden is making it hard to trade effectively.

CEO Michael Madden said in a statement that entering Chapter 11 protection would allow the company to move forward as a stronger organisation, serving customers both in stores and online.

Madden assumed the CEO role last year and says he has been in negotiations with landlords ever since. 
“While a handful of landlords cooperated, the vast majority have not. At this time we have no other option than to restructure the company’s real estate portfolio by filing for Chapter 11 protection.”

Last year, Vitamin World was sold by NBTY Inc, the maker of brands such as Nature’s Bounty and Sundown Naturals, to private equity investor Centre Lane Partners, for about US$25 million.

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