Jacob clothing chain to shut down; 1500 jobs to be lost

Jacob's flagship Montreal store at the corner of Ste. Catherine and Drummond Sts.

The Jacob women's clothing store chain, a staple in Canadian shopping malls for decades, will disappear in the next few weeks — along with 1500 jobs.

The chain's management informed its employees Tuesday morning of its decision to shutter its operations. Over the coming weeks, it plans to liquidate its inventory at its 92 stores across Canada — including its Jacob, Jacob Outlet and Jacob Liquidation stores.

In recent years, the company has fallen on hard times, filing for bankruptcy protection in November 2010 after losing $45 million over the previous three years.

A statement from the Jacob's founder and president, Joey Basmaji, says it "has made significant progress" since that time, but still hasn't been able to turn a profit.

The statement blames a "difficult economic context" over the past few years, "coupled with the arrival of numerous international competitors who quickly stole market share from Canadian retailers."

The company was founded in Sorel in 1977, and was named for Joey Basmaji's father.

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