News & Notes from IACC
From the Web: 2018 Has Been a Record Year for Retail Bankruptcies
Retailers are filing for bankruptcy at record-high rates as Americans' changing shopping habits, along with years of overly aggressive store growth, continue to shake up the industry.
15 US retailers have filed for bankruptcy or announced liquidations so far in 2018.
Here's the retail carnage so far this year:
Nine West Holdings filed for bankruptcy in April.
The women's clothing and footwear company said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to help facilitate the sale of its Nine West and Bandolino businesses. The company listed debts of more than $1 billion.
"This is the right step to address our two divergent business profiles," Nine West Holdings' CEO, Ralph Schipani, said in a statement. "Once we complete the reorganization process, our company will have meaningfully reduced debt and interest costs and be well positioned for the future."
"The retail industry as a whole has been challenged by shifts in consumer purchasing preferences and habits," Claire's said in a bankruptcy filing.
The retailer plans to close 92 stores, most of which are located in malls.
The Walking Company
The shoe seller The Walking Company, which operates 208 stores in the US, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
The Bon-Ton Stores
The Bon-Ton Stores owns multiple department store chains including Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's, and Younkers. The company filed for bankruptcy in February and liquidated in August.
Toys R Us
Toys R Us liquidated its US business after an unsuccessful attempt to restructure the company through bankruptcy. The company, which filed for bankruptcy in September, also shut down its Toys R Us and Babies R Us websites.
The 202-year-old company, which owns gun manufacturers including Bushmaster and Marlin, said its sales fell 30% last year to $600 million.
Remington isn't the only gun company facing sales declines. The downward trend has been called the "Trump slump" because the president is seen as supportive of the gun industry.
But Remington had been facing backlash prior to Trump's election.
Remington settled a class-action lawsuit in 2014 and agreed to replace the triggers on 7.5 million allegedly defective guns, free of charge. While Remington maintains that the guns are safe, the lawsuits linked the guns "to hundreds of serious injuries and at least two-dozen deaths," CNBC reports.
Women's apparel and accessories retailer A'Gaci filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January. The company said at the time that it planned to close 49 of its 76 stores.
Cosmetics retailer Kiko USA Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and said it would close all but four of its 29 stores and shut down its New York headquarters.
Italian casual-dining chain Bertucci's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April and closed 15 restaurants.
The company, which has 59 restaurants in the US, said it had agreed to sell its assets to Right Lane Dough Acquisitions LLC for nearly $20 million.
Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of the grocery chains Winn-Dixie, Harveys, and Bi-Lo, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the company is closing 94 grocery stores. That represents about 16% of Southeastern Grocers' store count, with 582 locations remaining open.
Tops Markets operates 174 supermarkets — called Tops Friendly Markets — in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in February and has said it plans to close "a few" stores, without specifying an exact number.
Brookstone filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August. The retailer said it would be closing all of its mall-based stores, and it's looking for a buyer to take on its e-commerce business and airport-based stores.
Brookstone cited declining traffic to malls as one of the main reasons for its demise.
National Stores, parent company of discount-store chains Fallas, Conway's, and Factory 2-U, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August. It announced plans to close 74 of its 344 stores, with clearance sales to begin immediately.
The retailer blamed the bankruptcy on a negative environment for retailers, the costs associated with its Conway's acquisition, lost revenue from Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, and a 2017 data breach.
Mattress Firm, the largest specialty mattress retailer in the US, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 5.
The company said it plans to close as many as 700 of its stores. Mattress Firm is currently considered to be the US' largest specialty mattress retailer with an estimated 3,272 stores across the US, according to Wedbush analyst Seth Basham. The company has increasingly come under pressure as new startups such as Casper innovate the experience of mattress shopping and take market share.
Sears, once the largest retailer in the world, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 15 and announced that Eddie Lampert would stepping down from his role as the company's chief executive.
The company also said it would close 142 stores before the end of the year, with liquidation sales beginning immediately.
Sears has been closing stores and selling off assets following years of crippling sales declines. The company operated 687 Sears and Kmart stores at the time of its bankruptcy filing. That's down from nearly 2,000 stores in 2013.