HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - About two weeks after teen retailer Aeropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Hawaii's Office of Consumer Protection is urging customers with gift cards, gift certificates or store credits to redeem their balances as soon as possible. Customers should also return unwanted merchandise immediately for a refund or exchange.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 4 and announced it would close more than 100 of the 700 stores in the U.S., including all three Hawaii stores – Ala Moana Center, Pearlridge Mall and Windward Mall. It will also close all 41 stores in Canada.
The details of the Hawaii liquidation will likely come at a hearing scheduled for June 2. Until then, the company is operating under interim approval from the bankruptcy court, meaning it is business as usual for all Hawaii stores.
"An important guideline with gift cards is to use them as soon as you can, because if a store closes or goes bankrupt, there may be little to no recourse for a consumer to recover an unspent balance," said Stephen Levins, executive director of the Office of Consumer Protection. "If you currently have an Aeropostale gift card, you should try to use it immediately in order to avoid losing whatever credit it contains."
Aeropostale, known for its inexpensive and logo-emblazoned clothing, has been struggling for some time as it tries to keep up with other popular fast-fashion brands like H&M, Zara and Forever 21.