Insolvent women's casual clothing retailer Cotton Ginny Ltd is to close around 100 shops and overhaul or sell its remaining outlets as it struggles with debts of around $47.5 million.

The firm, which runs 205 stores under its own name, was on Wednesday granted court protection from its creditors until 14 February, and given another 30 days to draw up a restructuring plan. The group's remaining 90 Tabi stores have been performing well and will continue to operate the company told the Ontario Superior Court.

According to court documents, Cotton Ginny's owner Arbos Co Ltd is owed around $24.5 million, its key lender and secured creditor Congress Financial Corp is owed another $8 million, and suppliers and others are owed a further $15 million.

It was also revealed that the retailer, which employs about 2,800 people and has stores across Canada, lost $11.2 million in the 11 months ended 31 December 2002. Annual revenue is estimated at more than $200-million.

Cotton Ginny's problems are thought to stem from its shift last year away from discount items towards more fashionable styles, a move that was not well received by customers. Strong competition, poor Christmas sales and flaws to a computer system that disrupted inventory flow have also been blamed.