Retail bankruptcies may hit a painful high-water mark in 2020. Multiple analysts have noted filings are likely to reach their highest number in a decade. Some weeks during the summer brought multiple filings by major names in the industry.
In a kind of chorus, the cohort of filers have pointed to the tribulations brought by COVID-19 in explaining their predicaments, citing massive revenue drops from store closures, pressure from landlords, and white-hot cash burn.
Many of them, though, entered the year in a vulnerable state and may have filed anyway. Filings have been elevated since 2016, when declines in mall traffic, e-commerce penetration, market share theft by discounters and mass merchants, and a host of other issues began combining to tip into Chapter 11 those retailers with the highest debt levels and worst sales trends.Retail Dive