MONTREAL -- Sports and outdoor goods retailer La Cordee is seeking protection from its creditors to restructure in the hopes of overcoming the financial difficulties it faces.

This decision was announced to employees through an internal note dated Monday and signed by the president of the company's board of directors, Louise Bernard. The Canadian Press obtained a copy of the missive.

In the letter, Bernard stresses that the company's financial situation is "difficult" and that La Cordee no longer seems to meet the needs and expectations of outdoor enthusiasts.

Founded in 1953 as a cooperative, the retailer has some 400 employees in five stores, including La Vie Sportive, in Quebec.

In addition to the decision to seek protection from its creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, Bernard told employees that Emmanuelle Ouimet has been named the new president and chief executive officer, who will be responsible for righting the retailer.

Ouimet has been La Cordee's director of marketing since August 2019.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2020.