Investcorp-Backed Sur La Table Said to Prepare Bankruptcy

(Bloomberg) -- High-end cookware chain Sur La Table Inc. is preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing after the pandemic forced it to close stores and cancel cooking classes, according to people familiar with the matter.

The chain, with about 125 stores, is also pursuing a sale, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public.

For companies like Sur La Table that offer classes and other in-store experiences, the nationwide shutdown has been even more pernicious. The chain, owned by alternative investment firm Investcorp, temporarily closed its stores across the U.S. in March.

A spokesperson for Investcorp declined to comment.

Sur La Table traces its roots to Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1972. With its popular classes, the company capitalized on consumers’ growing interest in spending on experiences rather than more goods.

It has grown from 86 stores when Investcorp acquired it in 2011 for $146 million, according to a filing and statement at the time.

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