Red Lobster is closing nearly 50 locations, liquidator says


Red Lobster is quickly closing at least 48 of its restaurants across 21 states, according to a company that helps companies liquidate restaurant equipment. 

Neal Sherman, the CEO of TAGeX Brands, said in a LinkedIn post Monday that his company is helping Red Lobster. The equipment is being auctioned off and the auction ends on Thursday, Sherman said. 

The store closures come as many Wall Street analyst suspect the restaurant will declare bankruptcy in coming weeks. 

The rumblings of a Red Lobster bankruptcy began this spring when in March the company tapped Jonathan Tibus as its new chief executive. Tibus is a managing partner at advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal and is known for restructuring corporate entities. As recent as last month, Red Lobster sought a buyer in hopes the company could avoid bankruptcy, CNBC reported. 

The restaurant struggled to turn a profit while serving mounds of shellfish under its “Endless Shrimp” promotion. Boosting the offer price to $22 and even $25 failed to stem the losses, which contributed to Red Lobster’s then owner, Thailand-based Thai Union, to lose millions of dollars.

Red Lobster first opened its doors in Lakeland, Florida, in 1968. The restaurant eventually expanded nationwide, allowing Americans from all corners of the U.S. to enjoy crab, shrimp, lobster and other seafood. In January, Thai Union said it plans to sell its minority stake in the company. 




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