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FREEMONT, CA-The retail chain Natural Wonders Inc. has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. On Monday, Nasdaq halted trading of the locally-based retailer, which specializes in educational toys and other merchandise.

Natural Wonders CEO Peter Hanelt stated in announcing the news that “disappointing overall holiday retail sales…caused us to evaluate alternatives.” Hanelt says the company was unable to come to terms with creditors “quickly enough,” prompting the bankruptcy filing. “We needed in this situation to preserve our ability to successfully reorganize and continue our operations as a going concern indefinitely,” he said. “We believe that our strong cash and inventory positions and extensive store base will enable us, with the protection that this action provides, to implement such reorganization.” The company operates 309 stores, eight of which are located in the Bay Area.

GlobeSt was unable to reach the company for comments on whether Bay Area stores may close or if Natural Wonders’ headquarters will be moved from 4209 Technology Drive.

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