VIRGINIA — The fate of Chuck E. Cheese's 15 Virginia locations is uncertain after the parent company of the popular children's-themed restaurant filed for bankruptcy on Thursday.
Texas -based CEC Entertainment said it expects to continue operations throughout bankruptcy proceedings as it gradually reopens its restaurants that were closed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Company officials said they planned to have "critical conversations" with financial stakeholders and landlords to craft a long-term plan for the company.
"The Chapter 11 process will allow us to strengthen our financial structure as we recover from what has undoubtedly been the most challenging event in our company's history and get back to the business of delivering memories, entertainment, and pizzas for another 40 years and beyond," David McKillips, CEC Entertainment CEO, said in a news release.
Chuck E. Cheese, which opened in 1977, serves pizza, complemented by arcade games, amusement rides and animatronic displays with a focus on family entertainment.
Chuck E. Cheese is among several companies to forced to declare bankruptcy because of the outbreak. Others include J.C. Penney, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus and Hertz.
Here are Chuck E. Cheese's locations in Virginia:
- Chesapeake (2)
- Dale City
- Richmond (2)
- Virginia Beach
Chuck E. Cheese is part of a growing list of brick-and-mortar establishments that have seen a nosedive in revenue and popularity with the emergence of e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Walmart.
Other chains that are closing some of their Virginia stores include the Gap, Pier 1 Imports, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, Kmart, Motherhood Maternity, Dressbarn and more.
Two Gap clothing stores in Virginia closed in January 2020. The store closure was part of a plan announced in February 2019 to close 230 stores across the country. The two stores that closed were located at 1534 Rio Road E. in Charlottesville and 21100 Dulles Town Circle in Dulles, the company said.
Gap joins other chains that are closing some of their Virginia stores.
Papyrus, a stationery retailer, is closing all of its stores across the country, according to Fortune. The chain operates three Washington, D.C., stores and six Virginia stores, including shops in McLean, Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax.
In January, Pier 1 said it would likely close half of its stores to "better align its business with the current operating environment."
A dozen Virginia stores, including one each in Manassas, Falls Church, Arlington and Alexandria, were removed from the chain's website. The company confirmed on social media the stores removed from the website were slated for closure. Patch has posted the full list of the 12 Pier 1 stores expected to close.
A record 9,300-plus store closings were announced in 2019, and that number could be even higher in 2020, according to a report by Business Insider.
- J.C. Penney Bankruptcy Could Affect 22 Virginia Stores: Report
- Macy's Closing More Stores, 17 VA, DC Locations Threatened
- VA, DC Retail Apocalypse: Another Chain Closing All Its Stores