Retail apocalypse

Texas-based women's clothing chain closes stores, including all in Houston area

Trendy women's clothing chain closes stores, including all in Houston

A'Gaci Store
A'Gaci is closing all of its Houston-area locations. Photo by Phillip Pessar

A year after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, San Antonio-based fast-fashion brand A’Gaci is closing. On Thursday, August 8, the womenswear retailer announced that it was shuttering all 54 of its stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including six in the Houston area.

According to a release, all stores began liquidating product with a 50 percent-off sale starting August 8. Although no exact closure date has been established, the company expects most stores to wrap up by the end of August due to the busy back-to-school shopping season.

Local stores closing include locations in Houston's Willowbrook Mall, West Oaks Mall, and The Galleria; Deerbrook Mall in Humble; Katy Mills; and Pearland Town Center.

The company also shuttered its online store on August 1 in anticipation of its final chapter. It is still honoring returns on non-final sale merchandise purchased 30 days prior to that date.

A’Gaci was founded in 1971 in San Antonio and quickly became a mall staple. Although its affordable, body-conscious clothing has a considerable following among fashion bloggers and Instagram influencers, a series of missteps ultimately led to its downfall.

First was a poorly timed, 21-store expansion between 2016-2017. As customer shopping habits shifted online, major debts were maturing and profitable stores in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico took a hit from major hurricanes, according to the first bankruptcy filing.

At the time of the 2018 restructuring, A’Gaci closed 20 of its locations and renegotiated several leases. The move, however, was not enough to make the company profitable. As of closure announcement, it was more than $6 million in debt.