Apparel chain files Chapter 11

Annapolis Clothing Co. Inc., a women's apparel chain, has filed for a Chapter 11 Reorganization under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The chain is the most recent retail victim of the recession, joining other locally based chains such as the 65-year-old L. Epstein and Sons Inc., which filed for bankruptcy two weeks ago. Epstein had announced in January it would liquidate its remaining stores citing adverse economic conditions and a poor retail environment.


Annapolis Clothing, which filed for bankruptcy yesterday, listed assets of nearly $3 million and debts of about $2 million. The company's secured debt was listed at about $700,000.

More than 200 creditors were listed in the retailer's petition. Some of the largest creditors included Londontown Corp. in Eldersberg, which is owed $79,407; WMAR Channel 2 Television, with a bill of $59,588; The Baltimore Sun, $47,108; Columbia Management Inc., $26,221 and Westinghouse Broadcasting Co. $26,069.


Merle A. Lebowitz, president of the company, could not be reached for comment.

Annapolis Clothing has seven stores in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The stores are located on Security Boulevard in Hechinger Square; Dobbin Center in Columbia; Towson Market Place shopping center; St. Thomas Shopping Center in Owings Mills, 8706 Belair Road, the Festival Plaza in Pasadena and 14 Parole Plaza in Annapolis.

According to a store employee, who asked not to be identified, company officials have told workers that three of the seven locations will be closed. However the employee would not elaborate.

Annapolis Clothing had been conducting huge sales, reaching as high as 70 percent, before and after Christmas. The chain generally sells women's career and leisure clothing.

In Baltimore several retailers have either announced plans to liquidate, shut down or have filed for bankruptcy. Those stores include Levenson & Klein Inc., Channel Home Centers Inc., g. Briggs, W. Bell, Bernard Hill and David's Village.

When Epstein announced its plans to close, it became the city's last surviving independent department store chain.