Jean Machine to close down all 24 of its stores by the end of February

All of Jean Machine's locations are in Ontario and it stocks apparel from Guess, Levi's, Jack and Jones and Buffalo David Bitton.

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A Jean Machine storefront is shown in Toronto on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Canadian apparel retailer Jean Machine Clothing Inc. will close down all of its stores by the end of winter. (The Canadian Press)

VANCOUVER — Canadian apparel retailer Jean Machine Clothing Inc. will close down all of its stores by the end of winter because of losses.

Jean Machine’s president Lisa Hryciuk announced in a letter posted on the company’s social media channels that 20 of its locations will be shuttered by Jan. 31 and another four will be gone by Feb. 28.

All of Jean Machine’s locations are in Ontario and it stocks apparel from Guess, Levi’s, Jack and Jones and Buffalo David Bitton.

Hryciuk says Jean Machine’s e-commerce offerings will remain open, but there will be no exchanges permitted for purchases made since Nov. 1.

Jean Machine filed for bankruptcy protection in January amid increased competition in the denim space from Uniqlo, H&M, Nordstrom and other newer retail chains.

Jean Machine has been around for 42 years and is owned by Vancouver-based Stern Partners Inc. through Comark Service Inc., which also owns apparel brands Bootlegger, Ricki’s and Cleo.

Comark’s chief executive officer Gerry Bachynski tells The Canadian Press that the company’s poor performance, despite recent restructuring is to blame for the closures.

“We continued to experience losses that ultimately we were reluctant to continue with,” he said. “The other thing that forced our hand was 10 of the 24 leases were terminating at the end of January and up for renewal, so if there was a time to wind the business up, it was the best possible timing.”

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