Sheikh Shoes has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, placing the future of the major US sneaker chain in jeopardy. Court records show that the retailer has liabilities of between 50 and 100 million dollars, with $16 million owed to Nike alone. With 124 stores spread across 10 states – including every major mall in California – it's easy to see how a business could accumulate so much debt, especially as sneaker sales become increasingly digital.
The news follows financing requests from company owner – and namesake – Shiekh Ellahi earlier in November. At the time, Ellahi clarified that he was not in default with any creditors or landlords, but that the company had been put under enormous financial pressure due to remodelling 61 stores over the past three years (due to the demands from major brands), with plans to remodel the rest in due course. However, Ellahi also stated that the retailer would be able to exit unprofitable leases if they file for bankruptcy.
At this stage, the future of Sheikh Shoes looks uncertain – if not dire. We'll keep you posted on the fate of this OG sneaker giant.