Retail Brands That Might Not Survive COVID-19 Crisis
I really, really hate hearing about any kind of retail operation that is about to close it's doors. For those of us who grew up going to the mall, and spending enormous amounts of time shopping with our high school and college friends, just for entertainment, this is a sad situation indeed. But we probably should have seen this coming.
USA Today has some insight into some major retails brands that probably won't survive the coronavirus pandemic. They checked in with 24/7 Wall Street, who reviewed corporate filings and industry publications to determine the strength of the brands listed below, and if they might weather the storm that has been brewing worldwide during this unprecedented health crisis. None of this is set in stone, of course and we certainly don't want anyone's livelihood to go down in flames, but the writing seems to be on the wall. We're sending good thoughts to all businesses, big and small, who are struggling during this time.
- Neiman Marcus. Luxury department store that filed for bankruptcy protection on May 7. When they filed, all locations were closed, and over 14,000 employees furloughed
- Stub Hub. The live events ticketing company has had over 20,000 events cancelled during the pandemic, and had to drastically update their refund policy because of it. Furloughed virtually their whole staff, around 300 people.
- J.C. Penney. The struggling retailer has had a very loyal customer base since they were founded in 1902, but they have a multi billion dollar debt load, and most of their stores have been closed during the health crisis. A bankruptcy filing in the near future is a distinct possibility.
- AMC Theaters. With every location closed during the pandemic, the theater chain had to furlough over 26,000 employees, and told landlords they would stop paying rent in April. Not expected to open until June, at the earliest.
- Sears. The historic retailer has been struggling for years, and seemed not to be able to keep up with a rapidly changing shopping culture. They went from 2,000 stores in 2000 to just under 200 right now. Honestly, I thought all of the Sears locations were closed already.
- J. Crew. The clothing retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after closing doors on the US locations on March 16
- Bed Bath & Beyond. Employees have been furloughed since early April, and stores remain closed, but the brick and mortar locations were struggling way before the pandemic hit.
- Hertz. The rental car giant has $17 billion in debt, and with non essential travel at a standstill, that means virtually no income for the company. They cut 10,000 jobs in April.
- Steak 'N Shake. The burger chain temporarily closed over 100 locations in February to go to counter service only, but they had been struggling with a $18.9 million dollar loss in 2019.
- Nordstrom. The clothing retailer has permanently closed 16 locations in the US and Puerto Rico, and all of their other locations are currently closed, with employees furloughed.
- Gold's Gym. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in early May, but 30 locations have been permanently closed in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.