Owner of Mandee and Annie Sez files Chapter 11, citing impact of Superstore Sandy

New York -- Big M Inc., which operates Mandee and Annie Sez stores, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The New Jersey-based retailer cited the impact of Superstorm Sandy, which resulted in closures that affected its stores, corporate office and distribution center for more than a week. The company cited liabilities of between $50 million and $100 million, along with assets of the same amount.

According to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, three of the company's stores were closed for one month and have since re-opened with only limited operations. BigM said it has only received a portion of its insurance claim in advance, straining liquidity to the point that it could no longer satisfy its debt obligations.

“If the insurance companies had been working with us through the process, we wouldn’t be in this position,” Alan Mandelbaum, CEO, Big M, told The New York Post. “We’re very disappointed. We were making significant progress.”

The privately held company, which is owned by the Mandelbaum family, has secured $13.2 million in bankruptcy financing from Salus Capital Partners. It is asking for bankruptcy-court approval of the loan, meant to allow Big M to continue operations during its Chapter 11 restructuring The company plans to keep its 129 stores open during the reorganization process.