Over a dozen major retailers have filed for bankruptcy so far in 2018, closing down the majority of their stores, if not all of them. These retailers include clothing chains, department stores, and shoe stores that will likely be household names for you if you grew up in the era of mall shopping. Not surprisingly, many of these stores failed to adjust their business models to the trends and demands of the virtual 21st-century world. Many of these retailers are working diligently with their bankruptcy attorneys to find solutions.
In 2017, over 20 major retailers filed for bankruptcy, including stores as nostalgic and prominent as Toys R Us. Compared to 2017, this year has been slightly less bleak. However, it’s no less glum for the employees and landlords involved with the following chains:
Mattress Firm is the largest mattress retailer in the United States, with over 3,500 physical stores in place. After executives realized the precarious condition of the business, they planned to close about 700 of those locations. Then, the company, which is owned by Steinhoff International Holdings, would be expected to complete a prepackaged restructuring within 45-60 days of the bankruptcy filing.
Mattress Firm is not alone in its troubles. According to a list put together by a research firm, retailers at risk of defaulting on loan payments, and being forced to file for bankruptcy, include the 99 Cent Stores, Charlotte Russe, Guitar Center, and Payless Shoes (which has already filed for bankruptcy but later restructured and attempted success again.)
The situation for Mattress Firm is dire. Of the 700 stores it plans to close, executives shared that it will close about 200 of those stores as soon as “the next few days.” Who else is closing down stores and filling for bankruptcy?
National Stores, the discount retailer that owns the Fallas, Conway, and Anna’s Linens filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August. They plan to close over 70 of their over 300 stores. The company accumulated too much debt, which led to their company’s decline.
The quirky retailer known for its massage chairs and funky tech gadgets also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August. In this case, the company may be closing 100% of its stores in all U.S. shopping malls. If you’re addicted to the free chair-massages before boarding a flight at the airport, you may still be in luck; the retailer is searching for a buyer for its airport locations so that those stores will remain open during the process (and potentially afterward.)
Rockport Group, a U.S. shoe company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as well and agreed to sell itself to a private-equity group.
Another footwear company, Nine West, filed for bankruptcy last April, announcing that it planned to shut all of its 70 physical stores.
If you were a female growing up in the 80s, 90s, or early 00s, chances are you made at least half a dozen stops a year at Claire’s, the then-thriving accessories boutique. Unfortunately for future buyers of cheap costume jewelry, Claire’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March… though it plans to trim its $2 billion debt, rather than totally close its stores so, there is hope. In the meantime, Claire’s says it plans to continue running its roughly 1,6000 stores (including the Ice brand stores) across the U.S.
The Walking Company
This shoe store filed for bankruptcy for the second time this decade. The company has over 200 stores and is not sure if it will recover.
The women’s apparel company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year, and at the time, said it would try to negotiate deals to keep at least a portion of its physical stores open. After negotiations, A’gaci looks to be keeping open 55 of its 76 stores.