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.
Centric Brands Inc. — 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 U.S. 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.
JCPenney — May 15
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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. — May 15
The Amsterdam-based company entered into voluntary administration in Australia, where it operates 57 outlets under its 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. — 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 — 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. — 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. — 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. — 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.— 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.