Since 2017, Retail Dive has tracked major bankruptcies in the U.S. retail industry. Over the years, we’ve seen the long decline of once-dominant chains like Sears, and the unexpected and swift demise of others, like Lord & Taylor.
Even in that short timeframe, some retailers have fallen victim to bankruptcy not once, but twice. In 2019 alone, both Gymboree and Payless filed for their second bankruptcies in two years. And in 2020, with many retailers facing shuttered stores and slow traffic, a record number of retailers — including many who had been teetering for years — filed.
The state of bankruptcies says a lot about the health of the retail sector and the various categories it serves. Which retailers file in a given year provides clues about broader consumer trends and gives insight into the differences between retail’s winners and losers. Here are the latest casualties in 2023.
Rockport Group files Ch. 11—June 14, 2023
Despite generating over $203 million in revenue in 2022, shoe retailer Rockport Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June. The company said it had inadequate liquidity to endure any additional economic challenges. In court filings, Rockport said it had nearly $100 million in funded debt obligations; more than half of that was due in August. The company also reported owing its top five creditors nearly $47 million.
Christmas Tree Shops files Ch. 11—May 5, 2023
Christmas Tree Shops filed for Chapter 11 on May 5. According to federal bankruptcy court filings in the District of Delaware at the time, the home decor, furniture and discount gift retailer had between $50 million and $100 million in liabilities and just $50,000 in assets. The company’s top six creditors were each owed more than $1 million.
Bed Bath & Beyond files Ch. 11—April 23, 2023
After several warnings that it could file for bankruptcy, Bed Bath & Beyond finally did on April 23. Rather than restructuring, though, the home goods retailer, which was founded in 1971 and was one of the first “category killers” to challenge department stores, is liquidating. The company, which is loaded with $1.8 billion in long-term debt, has a commitment for $240 million in debtor-in-possession loans to finance its operations. It hasn’t given up looking for a buyer, but efforts to sell itself, which started last year, have been unsuccessful so far, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer Holly Etlin said in a filing.
And in a puzzling move announced on Wednesday, online-only retailer Overstock.com is rebranding itself in the U.S. and Canada to Bed Bath & Beyond. The move seeks to take advantage of Bed Bath & Beyond’s brand recognition, CEO Jonathan Johnson said during a Thursday call with investors and analysts.
David’s Bridal files Ch. 11—April 17, 2023
David’s Bridal on April 17 filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, its second bankruptcy in less than five years – a situation informally known as a “Chapter 22.” The bridal retailer is looking for a buyer and is prepared to liquidate if that search is unsuccessful, according to court filings. Several parties “have expressed potential interest in certain” assets since February, when the company began reaching out to potential bidders, according to a document filed by David’s Bridal CEO James Marcum. In bankruptcy court documents, the company listed its liabilities at between $100 million and $500 million. After administrative expenses are paid, no funds will be available to unsecured creditors, the retailer noted in its filing.
Tuesday Morning Ch. 11–May 1, 2023
Less than three months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Tuesday Morning in May announced it would go out of business. The decision follows an April 27 court-approved bankruptcy sale to Hilco Merchant Resources for $32 million.
On Feb. 14, 2023 Tuesday Morning filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the time of its filing, the Dallas-based company said it secured a $51.5 million debtor-in-possession commitment from Invictus Global Management to support the company’s operations during the case.
Party City files Ch. 11 January 17, 2023
Party City Holdco in January filed for Chapter 11. It’s seeking a $150 million debtor-in-possession loan. A judge on Jan. 18 granted the company immediate access to $75 million of the loan. The pandemic tanked consumer demand for the company’s mainstay items – costumes, decorations and party favors – when people canceled in-person celebrations. In court documents, Party City said it has liabilities and assets of $1 billion to $10 billion and 10,001 to 25,000 creditors. The company says an “expedited restructuring” would reduce debt and improve liquidity.