It’s been a wild ride for the retail sector in recent months — and bankruptcies are adding up.
Even before the pandemic ravaged the industry, deep challenges were mounting for companies such as Neiman Marcus Group and J. Crew, both of which are saddled with debt. But the coronavirus has exposed financial weaknesses at other major players as well.
Here is a list of all the retailers and brands that have gone bankrupt or sought creditor protection so far in 2020.
Date: September 10
Century 21 voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. It also filed motions to start going-out-of-business sales at its 13 locations across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. According to the 60-year-old retailer, the decision to seek bankruptcy protection comes after its insurance providers failed to pay roughly $175 million under certain policies that were put in place to protect against losses stemming from business interruptions — such as those experienced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Century 21’s lenders have consented to the use of cash collateral, which is subject to court approval and would provide it with enough funds to continue operations during the store-closing process.
Dave Whelan Sports Ltd.
Date: August 3
The United Kingdom-based Dave Whelan Sports Ltd. has gone into administration. The company operates 73 gyms and 75 stores, while employing 1,700 people across its portfolio. DW Sports added that 25 of its retail locations had already closed permanently in recent weeks, and the remaining units will begin going-out-of-business sales. (The DW Sports website has already shut down.) As its outposts cease operations, the company said it will work with administrators to keep as many gyms as possible in business.
Tailored Brands Inc.
Date: August 2
The Houston-based company — owner of the Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, Moores Clothing for Men and K&G Fashion Superstore brands — filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas as the coronavirus pandemic reduces demand for workwear. In the filing, the retailer said it has entered into a restructuring support agreement with more than 75% of its senior lenders to reduce its debt by at least $630 million. It has also secured $500 million in debtor-in-possession financing from its existing revolving credit facility lenders.
Le Tote Inc.
Date: August 2
After months of speculation, Lord + Taylor as well as its parent company Le Tote became the latest fashion players to file for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. According to the filing, it owes millions of dollars to 10 companies, as well as hundreds of thousands to at least 20 more firms. The retailer’s largest creditor is the Israel-based Liquidity Capital II LP, with an unsecured claim of $8.5 million. It also owes $4.7 million to G-III Leather Fashions Inc., $3.5 million to Polo Ralph Lauren Clothing and $2.1 million to Michael Kors LLC. Other notable creditors include L’Oréal Lancôme and Facebook Inc, which have respective claims of more than $1.1 million and $1 million.
Chico’s FAS Canada Co.
Date: July 30
Chico’s FAS Canada Co. filed for bankruptcy with the Office of the Superintendent in Bankruptcy in Ontario. As part of the move, the apparel and accessories retailer will permanently shutter four of its Chico’s stores as well as six White House Black Market boutiques in the province. The shutdowns of those outposts, which comprise all of the company’s units in the country, would spell Chico’s exit from the Canadian market. It expects to record on a net basis a non-material charge to fiscal 2020 results in connection with the bankruptcy of this subsidiary.
Ascena Retail Group
Date: July 23
The retailer — parent to Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, Lou & Grey and Justice — filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Ascena wrote that it had reached a restructuring agreement with 68% of its secured term lenders and secured $150 million in new funds from its existing lenders. It plans to eliminate about $1 billion of its roughly $12.5 billion debt load through the restructuring process.
Muji USA Ltd.
Date: July 10
The Japanese chain’s United States arm, Muji USA Ltd., filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware. Its business in America has been operating at a loss for the past three fiscal years, but the health crisis led to store shutdowns that only further dampened its sales. According to owner Ryohin Keikaku Co., Muji, which has 18 units in the U.S., had been grappling with losses that stemmed from high rent and other costs even before the outbreak took hold. In a filing in mid-July, it announced plans to exit the California market and permanently close all seven of its locations in the state.
Date: July 8
The storied American clothier filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware amid the coronavirus pandemic and a shift to casual office attires. Weeks later, it announced that SPARC Group LLC — a venture created by Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group — made a stalking-horse bid of $305 million to snap up its business operations around the world as a going concern. The group also plans to preserve at least 125 of its stores.
Centric Brands Inc.
Date: May 18
The group — which owns brands including Zac Posen and Hudson and holds licenses for more than 100 labels including Kate Spade, Frye, Jessica Simpson and Timberland — filed for Chapter 11 protection in United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Centric Brands listed its assets in the range of $1 billion to $10 million — the same as its estimated liabilities. The company’s lenders have agreed to provide $435 million in debtor-in-possession financing to allow it to continue to operate during the restructuring process.
J. C. Penney Company Inc.
Date: May 15
The struggling retailer filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal bankruptcy court for the Southern District of Texas. According to the filing, JCPenney had $500 million in cash at hand and received debtor-in-possession financing commitments of $900 million. The company listed its assets in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion — the same as its estimated liabilities.
G-Star Australia Pty Ltd.
Date: May 15
The Amsterdam-based company entered into voluntary administration in Australia, where it operates 57 outlets under the brand name G-Star Raw. Ernst & Young’s Justin Walsh, Stewart McCallum and Sam Freeman have been appointed as administrators. Founded in 1989, G-Star Raw’s Australia business had already gone into voluntary administration in 2015.
Aldo Group Inc.
Date: May 7
The Montreal-based retailer, founded in 1972, announced that it has sought and obtained an initial order pursuant to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act from the Superior Court of Québec. Aldo said it has “voluntarily” filed for “similar protection” in the United States and is preparing to do the same in Switzerland.
Neiman Marcus Group
Date: May 7
After weeks of speculation, Neiman Marcus said it secured $675 million in financing from creditors to continue operations during the bankruptcy process. Mytheresa, the luxury e-commerce platform owned by NMG, is not included in the Chapter 11 restructuring.
John Varvatos Enterprises Inc.
Date: May 6
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware. The brand listed assets of up to $50 million and liabilities of $100 million or more. As part of its restructuring, John Varvatos will sell its business to existing investor Lion Capital LLP, subject to court approval.
J. Crew Group Inc.
Date: May 4
While some might point to the pandemic as the cause of J.Crew’s demise, the retailer has been floundering amid disappointing financial results for several years. Through Chapter 11 proceedings, the retailer is working with lenders to convert its debt load of about $1.7 billion into equity.
True Religion Apparel Inc.
Date: April 13
For the second time in less than three years, True Religion resorted to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In court documents, True Religion said the coronavirus crisis precipitated the move, writing that it “would have preferred to wait out the current instabilities of the financial markets and retail industry generally” but “simply could not afford to do so.”
Modell’s Sporting Goods Inc.
Date: March 11
The family-owned sporting goods chain had tried a number of tactics in recent months to prevent bankruptcy, including negotiations with landlords, which yielded some concessions and saved several of its stores that were previously on the chopping block. But after a long fight, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the pandemic began to take hold in March.