These Companies Are Closing Locations In 2020
Retail bankruptcies hit an all-time high in the first quarter of 2018, even more than last year according to Business Insider. More defaults and bankruptcies are expected to come, says a report from S&P Global Ratings, with retail liquidations speeding up. The report also says the U.S. remains oversaturated with retail despite this.
Some of the businesses that have made this list might surprise you! On the face they might look fine — the clerks still have smiling faces when you walk in and the clothing is still folded neatly on the shelves. But behind the scenes, there’s turmoil! Curious to see if your favorite store is on the list? Read on…
1. J. Crew
The clothing company favored by former first lady Michelle Obama has been closing some of its stores due to plunging sales over the years. It also closed its bridal store and parted with its creative director, Jenna Lyons, and CEO, Millard “Mickey” Drexler. Drexler confessed he thought the company’s troubles stemmed from raising prices.
Specifically, Drexler pointed out J. Crew raised prices and underwent expansion during years when consumers became more and more thrifty. Drexler left his position of 14 years and was succeeded by former West Elm CEO Jim Brett. After suffering under $2 billion debt, a debt exchange in June offered the company some relief. Sears, on the other hand, isn’t as lucky.
2. Sears Holdings
Sears Holdings has undergone trouble for a decade, with their sales continuing to decline. It sounds like they’ve tried nearly everything — cost cuts, asset sales, store closures, and layoffs — but RetailDive says this hasn’t helped the giant department store out too much. Finally it’s had to file neChapter 11 bankruptcy October 2018, closing 142 stores in the process.
In an attempt to try and avoid bankruptcy, CEO Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund has loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to Sears Holdings (with interest, of course). Things aren’t looking too bright for the retailer, even a hedge fund couldn’t keep it afloat. Like 99 Cents Only, they might be suffering from competition in the market.
3. 99 Cents Only
The retailer offering discount goods has found itself between a rock and a hard place, facing competition from companies like Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Walmart. In December 2017, the company reported a net loss of $27.1 million on top of $33.6 million in losses the second quarter and $8.8 million in Q1.
The 35-year-old company had tried to turn things around years prior. It was sold to Ares Management, Canada Pension Plan, and a private family. It also got itself a new CEO, Jack Sinclair, who replaced Geoffrey Covert. Although reporting positive same-store sales, 99 Cents Only is still losing a lot of money just like vitamin retailer, GNC.
RetailDive says that the supplement supplier’s top-line revenue in 2017 fell 3.4 percent year over year to roughly $2.5 billion. All the while, it carried $1.3 billion in debt. GNC’s chief exec said that it was doing well in China and in e-commerce in Q2 2018.
However, also in Q2 2018, GNC said it had declines in top-line and comparable sales as well as profits. In February 2018, the company said it would sell 40 percent of the company to a Chinese pharma company. The pharma company will manufacture, market, sell and distribute products in China. Top-lines sales have also taken a nosedive at Fred’s.
5. Fred’s Pharmacy
In May 2018, the 70-year-old pharmacy said its top-line sales for the past fiscal year fell 4.3 percent and its net loss was at $139.3 million. Fred’s tried to pursue 1,000 stores, increasing from 600, but plans didn’t quite work out. Extra store spaces were ripe for the taking, according to RetailDive.
This extra space was available as Walgreens tried to get a deal with Rite Aid but that fell through. Fred’s CFO then left February 2018, putting a former media exec in as their replacement. “Plan B” was put into place — Fred’s went up for sale, selling CVS its specialty pharmacy for $40 million. A huge maternity retailer also had exec shakeups when things turned sour for them.
6. Destination Maternity
Destination Maternity is huge in the maternity apparel industry with more than 1,000 stores according to RetailDive. Its CEO left during a quarter last year when top-line sales fell over 7 percent. With the company on its second interim CEO, the company brought on Berkeley Research Group to help it turn around.
Destination Maternity guessed that a relationship break from Kohl’s was the root of its issues. In total during 2017’s fiscal year, the retailer saw sales fall 6.3 percent year over year to $406.2 million. There was some light at the end of the tunnel — it saw a 40 percent increase in e-commerce comps. Ascena’s case is more hopeful.
7. Ascena Retail
This retailer is in charge of companies like Ann Taylor, Dress Barn, LOFT, and Lou & Grey. Things haven’t been going well, even after bringing in a new chief for Dress Barn. To salvage the brand, it’ll shutter 25 percent of its Dress Barn stores by 2019, says website RetailDive.
The retail news site also reported that Ascena saw $1.7 billion in sales in fiscal year 2017. In March, the retailer said that top-line sales fell year over year. However, financial services company Moody’s said in May that Ascena “is on a path to developing a strong ‘backbone’ of retail capabilities.” Stein Mart has struggled too but is also on a good path.
8. Stein Mart
The Jacksonville-based discount department store has struggled with its sales but is seeing some glimmers of hope! Stein Mart’s sales stabilized and digital sales grew by 47 percent in the third quarter of 2017. It did announce $23.4 million net loss for the year, but said it shrunk its loss size to about 10 percent.
Looks like we may not have to worry about our discount goods going away! At the beginning of the year, Stein Mart had announced it hired advisors to help turn the chain around. It was able to close on a $50 million term loan this March, according to RetailDive, which could be increased. Unlike Stein Mart, JC Penney’s future looks bleak.
9. JC Penney
Things aren’t looking too good for the department store chain, but it has been performing better than Sears. In 2018, 1,000 employees were laid off and a distribution center closed. Top-line sales dropped 0.3 percent in 2017 with net income at $116 million. RetailDive says the company is having a hard time making a turnaround.
A big factor in the way of its turnaround is its total debt of $4.2 billion. RetailDive says JC Penney investors are growing impatient with the slow progress. It had many other changes to its executive makeup including its CEO. Marvin Ellison left his post as board chairman in May 2018 to lead Lowe’s. Perhaps they should consider a change in offerings like Office Depot?
10. Office Depot
The office supply retailer saw some tough times in 2017 with sales falling 7 percent to $10.2 billion. Its CEO Gerry Smith announced Office Depot would be making a shift from mostly retail sales to also include services. RetailDive says the new emphasis is pushing up the company’s top-line.
One of Office Depot’s new business to business services is the “BizBox” subscription program. This includes more services rather than products. Investing in its service also includes the acquisition of IT firm CompuCom. Services now include 14 percent of the retailer’s sales. Vitamin Shoppe has also tried to shift its company’s focus.
11. Vitamin Shoppe
Vitamin retailers do not seem to be doing too well — like GNC, Vitamin Shoppe has also struggled with its sales. But, also like GNC, it is strengthening its e-commerce business and has started offering a subscription service. Despite this, the company has seen its top-line fall 8.5 percent in 2017 to roughly $1.2 billion.
RetailDive attributes the struggles seen by Vitamin Shoppe and GNC to lessening popularity of malls and supplement store competition. Vitamin Shoppe is hoping to turn things around with category expansion, events, delivery services, and more. Neiman Marcus isn’t making as big of a turnaround, however.
12. Forever 21
Fast fashion company Forever 21 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 29, 2019. With that announcement, Forever 21’s executive vice president Linda Chang told the New York Times that the company would be closing 350 stores globally and ceasing operations in 40 countries. Not to fear, for Forever will still be operating in plenty of U.S. locations.
(We’ve got to get our knockoffs somewhere, right?) This bankruptcy announcement comes after reports indicated Forever 21 had to hire advisers to seek out private-equity support to refinance and restructure the company, says a September report in Business Insider.
13. Neiman Marcus
The luxury clothing retailer’s gross sales fell 5 percent to $4.7 billion in fiscal year 2017. Neiman Marcus tried a couple things that RetailDive said seemed to be paying off, but still its interest expenses are troublesome. Some suggested strategies were cutting over 200 jobs and developing a customer engagement plan called “Digital First.”
Canadian company Hudson’s Bay considered buying the luxury retailer Neiman Marcus. Sources told the WSJ that the companies were in talks in March. However, in the end, the acquisition plan didn’t work out because Hudson’s Bay was concerned about Neiman Marcus’ declining sales. Bebe is another clothing store affected by declining interest in malls.
The fashion retailer’s sales began to suffer after its creative director, Neda Mashouf, left after divorcing her husband in 2007. Her ex-husband Manny Mashouf founded the company in 1979. RetailDive also attributes declining mall popularity and other retail challenges as negatively affecting Bebe. In 2017, it had an operating loss of $4.6 million.
Bebe decided to attempt to stay afloat by moving away from the traditional retail space. It moved into strictly e-commerce only by paying out $65 million to get rid of its physical retail stores. Forbes said Bebe had 180 stores at the end of 2016. Bebe’s problems are common for retail but Pier 1 has a unique problem…
15. Pier 1 imports
The research and strategy firm Jeffries said in 2018 that Pier 1 is in for a “heavy investment year” as it addresses its “sourcing, merchandising, pricing, marketing, store ops, e-com, and supply chain.” Net sales fell in 2018 quarter one by 9.2 percent year over year to $371.9 million.
S&P Global analysts also downgraded Pier 1’s credit rating. Ouch! Another thing stacked against them is Trump’s 10 percent tariff against Chinese goods. Pier 1 said in a release that 60 percent of its goods are made in China. Pier 1 might have to figure out new strategies, but we hope it’s not similar to Lands’ End’s efforts.
16. Lands’ End
This retailer’s casual clothing, luggage, and home furnishings aren’t resonating with consumers as much anymore. Lands’ End’s association with Sears caused its original troubles according to CheatSheet. Sears branched off in 2013. The catalog items see strong sales, the website said, but Lands’ End’s former CEO Federica Marchionni made some fatal errors.
CheatSheet says one of these was the youthful Canvas brand aimed at fashion-forward consumers. Canvas hoped to feature clothing in “designer styles to relaxed looks.” The brand, although trendy, wasn’t able to get its core clientele onboard. Everyone’s favorite guitar supplier might have a better chance to rebound.
17. Guitar Center
As of 2018, the rock n’ roll supplier has about a year to refinance a debt of $900 million. Guitar Center has been in business for more than 50 years but seems like people are buying fewer and fewer guitars. CheatSheet says its electric guitar sales dropped 36 percent from 2005 to 2016.
Despite its financial troubles, the instrument retailer was planning on opening new stores and managed to avoid a crisis by doing an emergency loan negotiation. In an interview with Forbes, EVP of merchandising and e-commerce Michael Amkreutz says the company is in transition but still going quite strong.
18. Southeastern Grocers
Winn-Dixie grocery chain isn’t winning… Its operator, Southeastern Grocers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to restructure its debt. It lowered its debt by $600 million and closed nearly 100 stores. The company says it’s shifted its focus to rebranding and remodeling stores that are still open, which they hope will turn things around.
Southeastern Grocers, which also runs Bi-Lo, faces competition by big-box stores like Walmart and Target and e-commerce like Amazon.com according to CNBC. Southeastern is based in Florida but operates stores in other southern states like Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina in addition to its home state.
19. Nine West
CheatSheet says the shoe retailer is $1.5 billion in debt and in negotiations to restructure its debt. Bloomberg reports that this includes Chapter 11 bankruptcy and selling off parts of the company. In order to save itself, Nine West has sold off its Easy Spirit brand and closed all of its stores except for a mere 25.
Also… The Washington Post reports Nine West Holdings will be shifting its focus from shoes to its jewelry and clothing lines (some include Anne Klein, Kasper Grouper, One Jeanswear Group). The Post says declining demand for ballet flats, sandals and heels have affected its sales. Changing consumer interest has also affected David’s Bridal.
Kohl’s Corporation announced that they would be closing four stores in New York, Kansas, and Los Angeles. They also announced that they would be closing one of their major operation centers to consolidate three locations into two. The department store noticed that their lowest-performing stores were the ones located inside or near malls.
They found that the Kohl’s locations performing best are the smaller locations that are about one-sixth of the average Macy’s retailer. They project that by maintaining those stores and pulling out of the larger locations, they should be able to turn things around. This shift in focus is an optimistic one for them as their CEO said, “We don’t think of ourselves as a department store…”.
This company had been around for a whopping 100 years! All good things must come to an end, however — or do they? Bon-Ton, an online retailer and department store, filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and was sold and liquidated. It announced in October 2018 that it relaunched its e-commerce site and will open select stores.
USA Today said: “The reinvented Bon-Ton would be a sleeker, more e-commerce focused business.” Started in 1898, Bon-Ton experienced its heyday in the 1900s and 2000s. CheatSheet says they were able to be successful as they were in small towns with little competition. Amazon changed things for them. Tops Market might benefit from observing customers’ preference for e-commerce.
22. David’s Bridal
As brides opt for more and more for casual, less expensive affairs, those in the wedding industry like David’s Bridal are seeing drops in sales. CheatSheet reports the company has a $520 million loan facility due in 2019 and $270 million in unsecured notes due in 2020. The new CEO, Scott Key, might do some debt refinancing.
The wedding dress superstore faces operational and market challenges; it saw sales, earnings and margins drop according to RetailDive. To add salt to the wound, S&P Global downgraded David’s Bridal credit rating in June 2018. They might have to find a new way to make a comeback like Bon-Ton.
23. Tops Market
A common cause of bankruptcy is companies not keeping up with changing consumer habits. This is the case with Tops Market according to CheatSheet. With more shoppers interested in non-traditional food retailers, falling food prices, and competition, Tops had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Shoppers can still visit Tops, however.
The East Coast grocery chain will keep most stores open (for now) in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. The Buffalo News offers us a glimmer of hope for Tops, reporting in July 2018 that the company has been freed from the $80 million in annual interest payments it had to deal with in 2017.
24. Cole Haan
The luxury footwear brand made the list on USA Today — but not a list companies want to be on… USA Today named Cole Haan one of the 26 retailers most at risk in 2018. The company is trying to appeal to the athletic shoe brand trend by changing its image from dress shoes to sneakers.
Cole Haan used to be owned by an athletic shoe company, Nike. It was sold to Apax Partners in 2013 and also abandoned Nike’s comfort technology. Cole Haan had built sneaker comfort into its dress shoes. It’s now competing with its former parent company and USA Today says it’s not making headway… Neither is Charlotte Russe!
25. Charlotte Russe
CNBC reported in March 2019 that women apparel company Charlotte Russe is liquidating and closing all of its stores. Originally when it filed for bankruptcy protection February 2019, it was only planning to shutter 94 of its retail outlets. That number has jumped to a whopping 500 stores across the United States.
That’s because a liquidator won the auction for it business in bankruptcy court, says CNBC. Historically, Charlotte Russe stores have been housed in malls. As we all know, malls have been experiencing lower foot traffic. Charlotte Russe might be a victim of fewer patrons hitting the malls, changing consumer interests or both!
Claire’s has been a fond memory in many women’s formative years. It was a staple store in any mall where girls bought jewelry, accessories, and got their ears pierced. However, the store, founded in 1961, might not be a part of future young girls’ childhoods anymore as it stopped its IPO.
CheatSheet said this indicated a 2018 bankruptcy might happen — and it did. In March 2018, the accessory retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and planned to reduce its debt by $1.9 billion. It closed 130 stores by May 2018 and plans to markets itself to potential buyers and investors.
27. FullBeauty Brands Holdings Corp
FullBeauty owns brands for plus-size men and women such as fullbeauty.com, Woman Within, Roaman’s, Jessica London, ellos, KingSize, and Brylane Home. It’s one of those retailers that also blames e-commerce giant Amazon for its troubling sales. This is definitely a common reason retailers have linked to finance problems. FullBeauty, owned by Apax Partners, included this message to its lenders in 2017.
The company told its lenders that its earnings dropped 30 percent during the 2017 fiscal year’s first quarter. FullBeauty did have a shake-up of its executive team in July 2018, bringing on Bob Riesbeck as CFO, Liz White as chief customer officer and Robert Lepere as chief people officer. A press release said they’d lead the company into more growth.
28. Eddie Bauer
The outdoor company faced problems with debt. In 2017, the Bellevue-based company’s owners (Golden State Capital) considered a sale as one of many strategies to rid its debt. That same year, S&P Global downgraded the retailer’s credit rating. This isn’t anything new for the company — it did manage to emerge from bankruptcy in 2009. Its sale to Golden State Capital in 2009 saved it from bankruptcy.
Nasdaq argues the brand has struggled to keep up with trends. However, the stock exchange says that it’s no longer concerned about Eddie Bauer — the outdoors retailer is exploring a merger with Pacific Sunwear of California. Wonder if Bluestem Brands will try a merger?
29. Bluestem Brands
Bluestem Brands provides apparel, appliances, electronics, health, and beauty products. It owns 13 e-commerce sites such as Appleseed’s, Bedford Fair, Fingerhut, Draper’s & Damon’s, Blair, and Gettingon.com. Business Insider put the company on its list of at-risk companies. A press release on BusinessWire in June 2018 showed some decreasing numbers…
In this press release, Bluestem had reported its 2017 numbers. It said it had a 10.9 percent decrease in net sales compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2017. Its net sales were $381.1 million. Its adjusted net sales excluded exited businesses decreased 5.1 percent compared to fiscal year 2017’s first quarter. PetSmart is faring better it seems.
30. PetSmart Inc.
The pet goods retailer has more than 1,500 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. In June 2018, PetSmart decided it needed restructuring advisors to handle its $8 billion debt problem. It won’t face debt maturities until 2022 according to Reuters. The root of the problems is the same as other stores.
Consumers are taking advantage of e-commerce more and more due to its convenience and sometimes lower prices. PetSmart also suffered from the same problems. It did acquire an e-commerce site, Chewy, but paying $3.35 billion for the site added to its existing debt. This was the highest ever paid for an e-commerce site says Reuters.
The shoe retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, laid off employees and shuttered over 600 of its stores in 2017. Payless was able to come back successfully reorganized in August 2017 but S&P Capital Markets says it is still in danger of default.
Despite closing down hundreds of stores, Payless has a lot of stores to manage as well while getting back on its feet — 3,500 in fact! “We have accomplished our goals of strengthening our balance sheet and restructuring our debt load, positioning Payless to create substantial value for our stakeholders,” said CEO Paul Jones in 2017.
32. Mattress Firm
Everyone needs a mattress but you might not get a new mattress from Mattress Firm anymore, however. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 5, 2018, CNBC reported. Their finance trouble has partly to do with an accounting scandal and what CNBC described as “an onerous store footprint.”
Mattress Firm said it planned to sell 700 of its 3,500 stores with 200 of them planned to close within days of the bankruptcy announcement. It hopes that it’ll be able to get out of unwanted leases and restructure its business. This next company we talk about also filed for Chapter 11 but earlier than Mattress Firm.
33. National Stores
This company, started in Los Angeles, owns Fallas, Conway and Anna’s Linens. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2018, saying it planned to close 74 of its more than 340 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, reported CNBC. The publication goes on to say what might have caused its troubles:
National Stores has collected many brands over the years, thus likely taking on too much debt. This quite possibly dragged the entire business — all National Stores brands — down into the depths of bankruptcy. Locations today are in open-air or stand-alone shopping centers. Next up, a company based in San Francisco also filed for Chapter 11 in August.
34. Gump’s Holdings
Gump’s Holdings, based in San Francisco, is a department store operator and also sells Gump’s Corp and Gump’s By Mail. When it couldn’t find a buyer, CNBC reported, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2018. In a press release, the company said an “overwhelmingly difficult retail environment” has made it challenging for its business to function.
Its Gump’s By Mail was an attempt to sell goods online but perhaps it couldn’t compete with e-commerce giant Amazon? It’s still searching for a buyer. Until the perfect buyer comes along, Gump’s Holdings will bravely soldier on. It will get rid of lots of merchandise, however. Gump’s has already brought in liquidators to take care of merch and start to repay creditors.
Seems like August 2018 is the prime time for filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy? Brookstone was another store who filed that month and planned to shut 101 locations in the U.S., CNBC said. Brookstone is known for selling tech products and items to use at home, such as massage chairs, gadgets, and fancy pillows.
Like Gump’s, Brookstone is also looking for a buyer but just for its airport locations, e-commerce businesses and wholesale operations. Its other locations were in malls but they’re closing all 101 of them, CNBC says. Landlords haven’t seen this many empty spaces in malls since 2012, the report goes on to say. Next, here’s another shoe company going bankrupt.
Rockport Group is a shoe company with retailers in more than 60 countries selling their products. It filed for bankruptcy in May 2018, joining fellow bankrupt shoe makers Payless and Nine West. After filing, Rockport was sold to private-equity group Charlesbank Capital Partners, completing the sale in July 2018. Hopefully, it’ll make a turnaround?
The private-equity group Charlesbank Capital Partners also has stakes in many other businesses like the Princeton Review, Shoppers Drug Mart and Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza stores. Those are all very different companies. Now, add Rockport and this private equity company has quite a varied portfolio! We’ll discuss another shoe company filing Chapter 11.
37. The Walking Company
What is up with shoes and bankruptcy? So far we’ve named quite a few shoe companies that have had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. There’s Rockport, Payless, Nine West, and now The Walking Company. If you’re starting a shoe company, probably best to learn from the mistakes of these ones!
The Walking Company, makers of comfy walking shoes, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy March of 2018. That’s before fellow shoe company Rockport. However, this isn’t the first time The Walking Company has filed for bankruptcy. A decade beforehand it also filed Chapter 11. There’s a happy ending with this store — in July, the company emerged from bankruptcy.
38. Kiko USA
Kiko USA is a cosmetic store and a subsidiary of bigger company Kiko Milano. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the beginning of 2018 in mid-January. Its plans to overcome its financial troubles include closing almost of all of its stores in the U.S., at least it seems.
Kiko has about 30 in the U.S., which seem to be within shopping malls. Kiko USA is having most of its troubles in the U.S. while its international business is going strong. To remediate its U.S. troubles, Kiko USA has tried to negotiate with landlords to lower rent and terminate leases.
A’gaci is a women’s apparel retailer that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the beginning of 2018 — January, just like Kiko USA. When it filed in January, it was trying to negotiate real estate deals on 49 of its 76 stores. About two-thirds of costs were related to leases being very high, the company said in a press release.
A’gaci said it would be keeping 55 of its store,s as well as 1,500 employees, as it emerged from bankruptcy over summer 2018. The company, which is based in Texas, received approval to enter in a commitment letter for up to $12 million with a lender in June. Unlike many of this list, looks like A’gaci will have a happy ending.
40. Toys R Us
Toys R Us’ financial troubles have been covered intensely in the media. In its 2018 bankruptcy filing, it said it planned to liquidate all of its stores. That meant big-time clearances at its 735 stores in the U.S. It planned to shut down stores as quickly as it could, Business Insider reported.
The longer they remain open, the more the corporation would owe landlords. However, reports started popping up of the brand not being dead yet. Toys R Us’ owners’ called off its bankruptcy auction at the end of 2018. This caused publications to speculate as to whether or not it was actually gearing up for a reboot.
This Italian casual restaurant chain based in Massachusetts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy spring 2018. It closed about 15 of its store in April, the Associated Press reports. At the time, 59 locations were open in 10 states. Bertucci’s was sold to Orlando, Florida-based Earl Enterprises for a whopping $20 million.
Earl Enterprises also owns the very recognizable Planet Hollywood, Earl of Sandwich and another Italian restaurant chain, Buca di Beppo. Biz Journals reported that the deal included $13 million in debt, $4 million in credit and $3 million in cash. Biz goes onto say Bertucci’s struggles to compete with other fast casual restaurants.
The children clothing company filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2019 says CNBC. At the time of filing, the retailer said it planned to close all of its 800 Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores. A few months later in March, they made the announcement that things have changed. Now Gymboree’s brands have been sold!
Fellow slinger of children’s wares, Children’s Place, has purchased both Gymboree and Crazy 8 brands, says CNBC. Meanwhile, the Gap bought Gymboree’s Janie and Jack’s intellectual property, its website, customer data, and more. Janie and Jack is another children-centric brand from Gymboree, possibly well known to consumers and their tiny tots.
43. Diesel USA
The denim apparel retailer filed for Chapter 11 on March 5, 2019, says Business Insider. In bankruptcy court documents, Diesel attributed its decreasing wholesale orders to “general downturn in the brick-and-mortar retail industry,” among other facts including expensive leases, decreasing net sales, as well as some instances of theft and fraud.
A March 5 article in Retail Dive indicated Diesel’s plans for reorganization includes relocating specific stores to locations “with a smaller footprint,” opening a Miami pop-up shop, opening new stores in strategic locations, and rebranding. Some of its locations wouldn’t pursue renewal of its leases. Hopefully, the reorganization works out for all the denim fans out there!
44. Imerys Talc America Inc.
It might not be a household name but Imerys supplies talc powder for a big company you might know — Johnson & Johnson. It’s a possibility that Imerys’ talc may not appear in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder product anymore. The Paris unit of Imerys Talc America Inc. and two of its other subsidiaries (Vermont and Canada units) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy February, 2019, says Bloomberg.
Imerys SA (the French unit) cited the more than 14,000 claims that the company faces in the United States. The majority of claims are from women that believe Imerys talc powder caused their ovarian cancer. Other claims cite mesothelioma brought on by asbestos in the talc powder that Imerys makes, says Bloomberg.
45. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)
The investor-owned gas and electric company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 29, 2019, as a result of the California wildfires of 2017 and 2018. Interestingly, Mercury News reports that PG&E wants to approve $235 million of bonuses for its employees. Will bonuses for its employees help its bankruptcy issue somehow…?
“$235 million would go a long way to support the victims of last year’s wildfires,” California state Senator Jerry Hill was reported as saying. Its bankruptcy filing had put in limbo claims from wildfire victims and its creditors. We’re not experts on utility companies but victim claims seem more of a priority over employee bonuses, no?
46. Things Remembered
Hopefully, Things Remembered doesn’t become things forgotten! The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 6, 2019, says Business Insider. This retailer makes personalized keepsakes like engraved jewelry and bags and wallets with a loved one’s name on it. They also sell things to keep your personalized keepsakes in, like jewelry boxes.
Thankfully for those in the market for personalized gifts, Things Remembered will live on. It completed a sale to gift and home decor business Enesco according to a March 11, 2019 article on Retail Dive. All its online, direct mail, B2B retail operations, and 176 of its brick and mortars will retain the Things Remembered name.
47. Innovative Mattress Solutions
This mattress company based in Kentucky filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 14, 2019, says Business Insider. Besides Mattress Warehouse, Innovative Mattress Solutions also owns Mattress King and Sleep Outfitters. To clarify Innovative Mattress Solutions’ bankruptcy, another retailer named Mattress Warehouse put out a press release on January 15, 2019.
It clarifies that it isn’t related to Innovative Mattress Solutions’ bankruptcy although sharing the same name as one of its subsidiaries. “This filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy has no bearing on the Mattress Warehouse (sleephappens.com) organization or their relationships with their vendors,” the release reads. Innovative Mattress Solutions might close 142 stores, said USA Today January 2019.
48. Z Gallerie
Based in Los Angeles, Z Gallerie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 11, 2019, says Business Insider. The home furnishing company said it planned to close 17 of its stores and is looking for a buyer to dodge liquidation, according to the SF Gate. It blames its bankruptcy upon self-imposed problems — a common bankruptcy cause.
SF Gate goes on to say Z Gallerie wished it invested more in e-commerce and didn’t sink so much into a costly distribution center. Its expansion also didn’t meet its performance goals, which contributed to its business woes. Z Gallerie’s filings indicated a need for swift proceedings to avoid becoming another retailer whose attempts at reorganization fail and are then forced to liquidate.
49. Beauty Brands
The beauty giant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 4, 2019, says Business Insider. The Kansas City brand went on the market selling some of its assets, according to the Kansas City Star. The January 23 article goes on to say that Kansas City advertising icon Bob Bernstein (who is credited with inventing the McDonalds Happy Meal) has a strong chance of purchasing the company.
A bankruptcy judge in Delaware had declared Bernstein, who originally launched Beauty, the “stalking horse bidder,” meaning he’s in a position to purchase Beauty Brands’ assets unless a better offer comes along. Initially, Beauty Brands entered an asset purchasing agreement with Hilco Merchant Resources. Hilco was the prior stalking horse bidder before Bob Bernstein became the current one.
Based in Wisconsin, this retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 16, 2019, says Business Insider. Shopko said it would close 70 percent of its retail locations between February and May 2019 while reorganizing. In February, the company said it would close 251 stores leaving 110 retail locations open, says USA Today.
In December, that number was far fewer. Closing its stores meant the company had to issue a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act in both Wisconsin and Illinois. “Through our conversations with the potential buyers, it has become clear that it is in our best interest to operate with a significantly smaller store footprint,” spokeswoman Michelle Hansen told USA Today.
51. The Weinstein Company
Allegations of sexual misconduct by the Weinstein Company co-founder Harvey Weinstein were finally heard by the public in October 2017 after a New Yorker article about the accusations were published. Actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd were some of the women to come forward and accuse the film executive. The Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy in March 2018.
The film company was able to find a buyer in May 2018 — Lantern Capital Partners, a Dallas-based private equity firm. The New York Times says Lantern offered $310 million plus the assumption of $115 million in debt. The equity firm doesn’t have any Hollywood experience but its portfolio includes auto dealerships and a zinc recycling company.
52. Roberto Cavalli
The esteemed Italian fashion house closed all of its US stores and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York early April according to court documents. According to an April 8 report in Retail Dive, Roberto Cavalli was also planning to liquidate the rest of its North American operations.
These do business as Art Fashion Corp. A March 29 article in Reuters said the fashion house was seeking an investor. “The Company’s liquidity has been further limited and the Company is no longer able to operate as a going concern,” read court documents. Meanwhile, it would seek an accord with creditors in order to keep the day-to-day business going.
Lowe’s reported it will be closing locations including 26 Ronas, 6 Lowe’s, and 2 Reno-Depots between January and February of 2020. These closures are in addition to the 51 U.S. and Canada locations that they announced an end-date for back in November 2018.
“Although we still have work to do, I am confident we are on the right path to build a better Lowe’s and generate long-term profitable growth,” Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO said. “We are committed to the Canadian market and are taking decisive action to improve the performance and profitability of our Canadian operations.”