TORONTO -- Canadian footwear retailer The Aldo Group Inc. announced Thursday that it has filed for creditor protection and plans to restructure to cope with the economic impact of COVID-19.

The Aldo Group Inc. said in a news release that it had obtained an initial order under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act from the Superior Court of Quebec. The Montreal-based company's stores include Aldo, Call It Spring and Globo.

"It is no secret that the retail industry has experienced rapid and significant change over the last several years. We were making strong progress with the transformation of our business to tackle these challenges; however, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has put too much pressure on our business and our cash flows," Chief Executive Officer David Bensadoun said in the release.

Bensadoun said the company conducted an "exhaustive review of strategic alternatives" but ultimately decided that filing under the CCAA was necessary "to preserve the company for the long term and survive through this challenging period."

The company has voluntarily applied for similar protection in the U.S. and is expected to do the same in Switzerland.

"With our deep fashion footwear heritage, experienced leadership team, extensive omnichannel capabilities and loyal customer base, we firmly believe that we will emerge from the restructuring process and from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic," Bensadoun said.

According to the release, the company’s brands will continue to operate online during the restructuring.

The company said its retail stores, which are temporarily closed due to COVID-19, will reopen based on the guidelines set by provincial governments and health authorities.

U.S. department store chain Neiman Marcus -- which is partly owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board -- and retailer J.Crew are among the big retail brands that have recently filed for bankruptcy protection during the pandemic.