Plummeting sales and economic downturn contributed to the retailer's fall.

Sad news for fashion-lovers: Clothing store J.Crew has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The preppy retailer famously endorsed by Michelle Obama made the decision Monday as their parent company, Chinos Holdings Inc., filed for relief at the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern Court of Virginia. The company, which operates 181 brick-and-mortar stores across the country, will continue its e-commerce business and comply with public safety measures implemented during the coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, the New York-based retailer was struggling to maintain a consistent consumer base. Between CEO shake-ups, plummeting sales, and a staggering $3 billion debt accrued from a 2011 buyout, the move towards bankruptcy protection was inevitable. Their sister brand Madewell will continue to operate under J.Crew Group by CEO Libby Wadle (Plans to go public last month have since dissolved after the company failed to reach an agreement).

The last few years have been tough on the fashion industry, testing businesses' resilience in an ever-changing market as online commerce reigns supreme. But the strain imposed by COVID-19 is likely to have lasting effects on retailers globally.

Neiman Marcus, J.C.Penney, and Pier One Imports are on the path to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this spring, and more are likely on the way as businesses nationwide close their doors. The shuttering of the iconic department store Barneys New York in late 2019 has been viewed as the harbinger of things to come for the traditional retail environment.

In the meantime, the company will continue to monitor appropriate measures for store re-openings when stay-at-home-orders are eased. You can read the full statement here.

What do you think of J.Crew's decision? Are there any businesses you think could go down the same path? Sound off in the comments!