2017 has been a tough year for retail with stores of all kinds shuttering more than 4,000 locations.
Within the last two weeks, the clothing sector absorbed a double blow. First, designer denim retailer True Religion revealed that at least 27 of its stores will be shuttered as it restructures in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Then just days later, children’s outfitter Gymboree finalized plans to close 350 stores as part of a previously announced bankruptcy restructuring.
So now that those two have filed, the Moody’s list is whittled down to 20 remaining stores likely to seek bankruptcy protection if they can’t meet their loan obligations.
20 stores on the brink of bankruptcy
The at-risk companies now include:
- David’s Bridal
- Evergreen AcqCo 1 LP (parent of thrift chain Savers)
- Charming Charlie
- Vince LLC (clothing retailer)
- Calceus Acquisition (owns Cole Haan footwear)
- Charlotte Russe
- Neiman Marcus Group
- Sears Holdings
- Indra Holdings (holding company owner of Totes Isotoner)
- Velocity Pooling Vehicle (DBA Motorsport Aftermarket Group)
- Chinos Intermediate Holdings (parent of J. Crew Group)
- Everest Holdings (manages Eddie Bauer brand)
- Nine West Holdings
- Claire’s Stores
- Boardriders SA (sporting subsidiary of Quiksilver)
- Bon-Ton department stores
- Fairway Group Holdings (food retailer)
- Tops Holding II (supermarket operator)
- 99 Cents Only Stores
- TOMS Shoes
All the stores on this list face factors such as declining store traffic, liquidity issues, management challenges, weakened competitive positions, ailing credit ratings, exposure to unfavorable borrowing terms, highly promotional pricing that cuts into margins and supply chain interruptions.
That final factor is particularly distressing for those stores that are fast-fashion retailers. Such retailers live and die by being able to get the hottest trends into stores as quickly as possible.