Things Remembered files for bankruptcy to facilitate acquisition

Things Remembered has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of its plan to be acquired by a leading giftware company.

The retailer, which sells engraved and personalized gifts and keepsake items, said it has entered into an agreement to sell most of its business to Enesco, a giftware, home décor and accessories company. To facilitate the sale, Things Remembered filed for bankruptcy and is seeking court approval for a severance and outplacement program to support impacted employees and incentives for store employees.

Enesco intends to operate Things Remembered online, direct mail, and B2B retail businesses. It also will keep a “portfolio” of stores open under the Things Remembered brand. (Things Remembered currently operates about 400 stores.)

"The sale to Enesco offers a compelling path forward for Things Remembered, its customers, employees, creditors, vendors, and other stakeholders," said Nelson Tejada, president and CEO of Things Remembered. "We will now build on our legacy as the leading omnichannel retailer focused on personalized gift merchandise. Among other growth initiatives, we plan to reinvest in our marketing and personalization technology, and to reinvent our in store experience."

Things Remembered, whose sales have declined in recent years amid online competition, is burdened with approximately $120 million in debt that stems from a buyout in 2012. Founded more than 40 years ago and a longtime mall staple, it is owned by a consortium of investors, including private-equity firm KKR & Co. Inc. KKR was a lender alongside other financial firms that forgave some of the company’s debt in exchange for ownership in a debt restructuring in 2016.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as Things Remembered legal counsel, Berkeley Research Group is serving as its restructuring advisor, and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc. and Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC are serving as its financial advisors.