IMedia Brands, which runs the ShopHQ television shopping network, has struck a deal to operate — and possibly buy — the remnants of the bankrupt Christopher & Banks.
The Eden Prairie company said late Wednesday it had signed a licensing partnership with ReStore Capital, a subsidiary of Hilco Global, to use its TV and internet platforms to manage the brand.
"We know the Christopher & Banks fashions and customer demographics well because they are the same as our ShopHQ fashions and customer demographics," said Tim Peterman, CEO of iMedia Brands, in a statement. "We also know this iconic brand has maintained a passionate customer base for over 75 years. This is a big opportunity, and we are excited to get started."
Christopher & Banks, which was based in Plymouth, filed for bankruptcy protection in January. It entered an agreement with ALCC, another Hilco subsidiary, to sell its remaining assets. Hilco ran the retailer's closing sales.
That deal with ALCC closed on Wednesday for $24.6 million, according to a Christopher & Banks filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. ALCC, in turn, wants to sell most assets to iMedia.
However, ALCC will retain the intellectual-property assets, the filing said.
On Monday, iMedia started to manage the online store, remaining clothing inventory and two brick-and-mortar stores — in Coon Rapids and Branson, Mo., it said in the release.
It plans to launch a weekly Christopher & Banks program on ShopHQ, which will promote the online store. It will soon launch Christopher & Banks Stylists, an online interactive video platform to help customers customize wardrobe choices with help from an employee.
"We are thrilled to partner with iMedia and leverage our retail expertise and capital solutions to add value to the overall operation," said Benjamin Nortman, CEO of ReStore Capital, in the news release. "We are very pleased to keep the iconic Christopher & Banks brand going and providing its customer base with the fashion looks they want at a tremendous value."
IMedia points to its track record leveraging e-commerce platforms to launch and grow the Shaquille O'Neal brand. The kitchen products are also now sold in Target and Walmart stores.
Shares of iMedia fell 7% Thursday to $6.31.
Catherine Roberts • 612-673-4292