Bob’s Stores, EMS File for Bankruptcy Protection

Bob’s EMS Holdings, parent company of Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), has filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The retailers, which operate approximately 50 stores and employ nearly 800 full- and part-time employees, generated $131.85 million in net revenue last year, according to CEO David Barton in documents filed with the court.

The filing was precipitated by PNC Bank declaring the retailer defaulted on its loans on March 29, 2024. Bob’s EMS owes PNC $29.4 million, in addition to obligations to landlords and suppliers totaling nearly $27 million. The retailer needs an immediate cash infusion to meet its payroll obligations; according to the filing, it owes employees approximately $935,000 — more than the average bi-weekly payroll of $770,000.

Frasers Group, which had purchased the retailers in April 2017 for $101 million in cash when the company faced an earlier bankruptcy, sold them for $70 million to GoDigital Media Group in May 2022.

At press time, the Bob’s website was “under construction,” while the EMS site advertised “everything on sale.”