All eyes have been on American business since President Trump took office earlier this year. And though some sectors have solidified with the promise of new pro-American trade policies, it’s been far from an economic boom.
Although it’s no fault of Trump, plenty of US-based brick and mortar retailers are having death spasms.
With the ever-increasing rise in online shopping and giants like Amazon showing no sign of slowing down, this year promises to be an uphill battle for mid-level retailers. Here are six that have already bit the bankruptcy bullet in 2017.
Teen apparel retailer rue21 has been a mainstay in shopping malls across the US for years and announced its plans to close about one-third of their retail stores in 2017. The company is privately held and will shutter about 400 retail locations, leaving then with about 700 left in operation nationwide. In an official statement the company specifically noted they will continue to focus on their own online presence, a move that is surely a reaction to the growing online shopping marketplace.
The US entity of footwear retailer Payless filed for voluntary Chapter 11 this year alongside two Honk Kong-based entities that handle logistics and fulfillment for the retailer. They made the filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri with hopes to restructure operations and shore up finances. They also confirmed plans for Chapter 11 filings within Part IV of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Discount store chain Gordman’s announced earlier this year that they are filing for bankruptcy and will liquidate their stores. News of the filing came in March and the company cited slowdowns in mall and retail traffic as customers increasing choose online shopping. The Nebraska-based retailer has operated since 1915 and made their Chapter 11 filing in their home state. Before the filing the company operated 102 retail locations in 22 states and employed around 5,100 people.
Outdoor sporting goods retailer Gander Mountain confirmed in March that they were filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closing all 32 of their retail locations. In a statement they cited shifting consumer demands and the rising direct-to-consumer model within the sporting goods industry as reasons for their sluggish revenues. They have been in negotiations with several entities for a “going concern” sale and an auction is planned for this spring.
Electronics retailer Radioshack filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the state of Delaware in March also announced plans to cut 200 of their retail locations. In official statements the company said that they are actively exploring different models to increase value for creditors and may continue to operate most of its stores. Radioshack CEO Deen Rogers cited “surprisingly poor performance of mobility sales” as a primary cause for their dips in profit.
Home appliance retailer hhgregg also filed for Chapter 11 earlier this year in a move to reorganize and structure its finances. The company signed an agreement with an anonymous party to purchase their assets in a move that will reportedly allow them to emerge from bankruptcy debt free and with vastly improved liquidity. In a statement the firm said they expected to move through the process smoothly and within as few as 60 days.