Limited Stores, the parent company of women's fashion apparel retailer The Limited, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, while announcing plans to sell its brand name and other assets.

The US womenswear retailer filed the petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware yesterday (17 January).

In the filing, chief restructuring officer, Timothy Boates, said: "Despite years of popularity, the debtors, like many other retailers, recently faced significant operational challenges – including declining mall traffic and lower-than-projected sales." This, he said, resulted in declining earnings over recent years.

The company has, however, managed to secure an asset purchase agreement with an affiliate of private equity firm Sycamore Partners to acquire Limited's intellectual property and certain related assets.

This is subject to the receipt of higher or better offers. Sycamore, which specialises in retail and consumer investments, has more than $3.5bn in capital under management.

Earlier this month, The Limited, backed by private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners, shuttered its 250 stores nationwide, but posted a short message on its website telling customers "this isn't goodbye". While its bricks and mortar locations had closed, its website was still offering 50% off every item, with all purchases said to be final.

The Limited shutters all stores