Red Lobster: US seafood chain to close at least 48 restaurants immediately as furniture sold at auction

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US seafood chain Red Lobster is closing at least 48 restaurants ‘immediately’

Popular US seafood chain Red Lobster is closing at least 48 of its restaurants with immediate effect around the country, it has been reported. According to CNN, its kitchen equipment, furniture and other contents at the restaurants are being put up for sale at an online auction this week.

The company, which has around 650 locations across the US, is reportedly considering filing for bankruptcy protection - after appointing a restructuring expert as its chief executive, which likely indicates an impending bankruptcy.

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According to local news reports, Red Lobster locations in Buffalo, Orlando, Jacksonville and other cities were listed as “temporarily closed” on its website. The firm did not respond to the news outlet’s requests for comments.

US seafood chain Red Lobster is closing at least 48 restaurants ‘immediately’ US seafood chain Red Lobster is closing at least 48 restaurants ‘immediately’
US seafood chain Red Lobster is closing at least 48 restaurants ‘immediately’

Former leaders and industry analysts attribute the chain's decline in recent years to various factors, including mismanagement. In 2020, Thai Union, a longstanding supplier to Red Lobster, acquired a significant financial stake in the chain, subsequently witnessing a series of CEO changes and operational issues, such as the introduction of an all-you-can-eat shrimp deal that impacted Thai Union's profits.

Earlier this year, Thai Union announced its decision to divest from Red Lobster, incurring a $530 million loss on its investment.

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