While the chain hopes to keep operating, Gymboree became the latest retailer to declare bankruptcy in 2017. That keeps the year on pace to tie or break 2009’s record, when 18 c
Caa” or lower by Moody’s. That’s not a guarantee a chain will fail — J.C. Penney came back from that level — but it’s decidedly a dicey place to be.
“When you’re down there in Ca-land, bankruptcy is a real possibility,” said senior Moody’s retail analyst Charles O’Shea, USA Today reported. The 22 companies on the Moody’s list, including Gymobree, represent 16% of the total retail market covered by the credit-rating service.
“The majority of retailers remain fundamentally healthy,” O’Shea added. That’s good news, but many, or even all, of the following chains run a serious risk of not surviving the year without a bankruptcy filing.
Formerly knows as Quiksilver, Boardriders sells apparel for ocean sports, winter activities, and skaters. The company has already survived one bankruptcy in February 2016, and at the time CEO Pierre Agnes seemed confident in a revival.
“The renaming of our company signifies the beginning of a new day at Boardriders,” he said then in a press release. “Our teams around the world have been building our resurgence brick by brick. Their passion and tireless execution, along with the loyalty of our customers, suppliers, and partners, has allowed us to complete the restructuring phase of our turnaround and to begin shifting our focus to growth.”
The so-called “retail apocalypse” has hit department stores especially hard. Bon-Ton, which has 261 stores, including nine furniture galleries and five clearance centers in 25 states, has been no exception. The company operates under a number of names, including Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Bergner’s, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers.
Fairway Group Holdings (Fairway Markets)
A supermarket chain that operates Fairway Markets, Fairway Group Holdings has already declared bankruptcy once, in 2016. The chain, which bills itself as “like no other market,” emerged from that filing in June 2016 with “approximately $50 million in cash, a substantial reduction of its debt by $140 million, and a reduction of Fairway’s annual debt service obligations by up to $8 million,” according to a press release.
That appears to have not been enough, as growing competition has put the company in dire straits once again.
Tops Holding II (Tops Friendly Markets)
Another supermarket chain, Tops Holding II, operates as Tops Friendly Markets. The chain, which uses the tagline “your neighborhood store and more,” runs 172 corporate full-service supermarkets under the banners of Tops and Orchard Fresh, with an additional five supermarkets operated by franchisees.
99 Cents Only Stores
Discount chains have largely done well as full-price retailers have struggled. That’s not true for 99 Cents Only Stores, which has struggled to compete with rivals such as Dollar General. The chain, which began in the 1960s, operates 350 stores in California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada.
It’s worth noting that while the chain appears on the Moody’s list, it did have a strong Q1 for its fiscal 2018, where net sale rose 6.7% to $547.5 million over the same quarter a year ago. In addition, same-store sales increased by 6.9% over Q1 2017.
The footwear company that was built on a charitable model of donating one pair of shoes for each one it sells may soon need some charity of its own. Toms has given away over 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need since its founding in 2006, and it has increased its charitable efforts into other areas, including creating jobs by making its shoes in countries where it has donated them.
A chain that sells wedding and bridesmaid dresses along with other wedding items, David’s Bridal has 300 stores in the U.S., along with locations in Canada and the United Kingdom. The company sells in a variety of price ranges but would be considered “affordable,” at least compared with most chains and independent shops in the wedding space.
Evergreen AcqCo 1 LP (Savers)
Evergreen AcqCo 1 LP operates Savers, a retail chain that takes community donations and then resells them. It’s a secondhand store that pays local non-profits a portion of its proceeds as directed by the consumers who make the donations.
The chain has over 330 locations in the U.S. and Canada. It helps “more than 120 nonprofit organizations by paying them for donated goods,” according to the company’s website, and it ” keeps more than 700 million pounds of used goods from landfills each year.”