More than three dozen retailers, including the country's oldest department store chain, filed for bankruptcy this year, marking an 11-year high. After more than a century in business and a years-long drop in sales, J, C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-May. Burdened by debt, she was struggling long before the pandemic, but the Covid crisis exacerbated her problems.
Penney, which employed about 90,000 full- and part-time workers in February, has closed more than 150 locations since it filed for bankruptcy. Another 15 stores will close in March, it reported earlier this month. The luxury department store chain filed for Chapter 11 in early May, marking one of the most notable retail collapses during the pandemic. After eliminating billions of debts, Neiman created a new board of directors that includes the former president of LVMH in North America, Pauline Brown, and the former strategy director of eBay, Kris Miller.
Geoffroy van Raemdonck remains CEO. Neiman expects to take advantage of the strong upturn in the luxury market, as high-income consumers waste more money on themselves, and travel and other social activities are suspended. Guitar Center began its business in Hollywood in the 1950s selling organs for the home, and grew to become a leader in the music category. However, the temporary store closures caused by the pandemic harmed the company, as shoppers turned to the Internet to buy instruments and sheet music.
The retailer, which employed about 13,000 people, filed for Chapter 11 in late November. Tailored Brands, owner of Men's Wearhouse and Jos. The bank, which filed for Chapter 11 in August, hoped to reduce its debt and strengthen its finances, which were eroded by the pandemic. The Tailored Brands presentation was part of a series of declines in clothing retail that were attributed to the precariousness of working from home by US companies and to fewer men buying suits and ties.
About a month before filing for bankruptcy, Tailored Brands announced plans to close up to 500 stores over time. It also reduced its corporate workforce by 20%. Ascena made an increasing effort to grow her business, as more women went to fast-fashion retailers such as H%26M and Zara, to chains with discounted prices such as TJ Maxx and Ross Stores, and even to Target, to buy clothes. Sycamore is committed to keeping most of Ascena's remaining stores open to the public.
However, like Tailored Brands, it will have to work to win over a generation of younger consumers looking for comfortable, casual clothing. Despite previous attempts to reduce its number of stores and shift its investments to digital technology, GNC filed for Chapter 11 in June. GNC said that the pandemic only exacerbated the financial pressure of recent years. While it was bankrupt, GNC said it hoped to accelerate the closure of between 800 and 1200 stores, while looking for a buyer.
Clothing company Preppy J, Crew filed for Chapter 11 in early May, marking the first major retail bankruptcy of the pandemic. She had already been struggling with a heavy burden of debt and sales problems, and had been criticized for losing contact with her once-loyal customers. J, Crew also hoped to spin off its Madewell brand into an IPO that could have helped pay its debt burden, but faced rejection from creditors. In September, the company emerged from bankruptcy and its portfolio of stores had hardly changed.
When it was introduced, it had 181 J, Crew stores, 140 Madewell stores, and 170 factory outlet locations. Brooks Brothers, one of the oldest clothing chains in the country, filed for Chapter 11 in July. The leases resulting from its real estate expansion over the years became too expensive and the pandemic forced it to rethink its retail strategy, as many consumers opted for sweatpants. When declaring bankruptcy, the company sought a new owner while starting to close dozens of stores, attributing the decision to the health crisis.
The discount clothing and accessories chain Stein Mart applied for Chapter 11 protection in August and liquidated all 281 stores. Stein Mart was already struggling with outstanding debt before COVID, but its sales sold out during the temporary closure of stores in spring. The home goods chain Pier 1 Imports filed for Chapter 11 in mid-February, after nearly 60 years in business. Their plans to find a buyer were unsuccessful, as the pandemic worsened in March and ultimately led Pier 1 to full liquidation.
Closing sales at its hundreds of stores temporarily stalled until spring and summer, when local lockdowns were lifted. Do you have any confidential news? We want to hear from you. Get this in your inbox and learn more about our products and services. .