6 Major Retailers at Risk of Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know

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The retail industry has been in a state of flux for some time now. The rise of e-commerce giants like Amazon has put pressure on brick-and-mortar stores to adapt or risk being left behind. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated these challenges, as lockdowns and social-distancing measures forced many stores to close their doors temporarily and for some, permanently.

As a result, many retailers are struggling to stay afloat, with some filing for bankruptcy or going out of business. Even well-established brands are not immune to these challenges: names like J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, and J. Crew have filed for Chapter 11 protection in recent months.

In short, the retail industry is facing a crisis. Many retailers are at risk of bankruptcy as they struggle to adapt to changing market conditions and recover from the impact of the pandemic. These are some of them.

1. Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch is a retail clothing company that has faced financial struggles in recent years. Like many other retailers, Abercrombie & Fitch has had to navigate the rise of e-commerce and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to these challenges, Abercrombie & Fitch has implemented a number of measures to try to remain competitive and financially stable. These include shuttering underperforming stores, updating its product offerings to better meet the needs and preferences of customers, and investing in digital marketing and e-commerce capabilities to better reach and serve customers online.

Despite these efforts, Abercrombie & Fitch has struggled to achieve consistent financial success in recent years. The company has reported declining sales and profitability, and its stock price has fluctuated significantly. 

2. Bed Bath & Beyond

According to Business Insider, Bed Bath & Beyond announced in September that it’s set to close 150 stores and eliminate 20% of its corporate and supply chain staff. This will result in a reduction of the company’s store count from an estimated 953 stores in July 2022 to 803 stores, as stated on Statista.

Bed Bath & Beyond attributed its drop in sales last quarter to a surplus of unpopular merchandise combined with struggling to keep high-demand products in stock.

3. Rite Aid

Rite Aid is a retail pharmacy chain that has faced significant financial struggles in recent years. Rite Aid has had to adapt to the challenges that other retailers face along with increasing consolidation of the healthcare industry. Larger pharmaceutical companies have acquired smaller players, increasing their bargaining power.

The retail company recently reported a quarterly loss of over $300 million. This loss was due to store closures and fewer customers coming to Rite Aid for COVID-19 tests and vaccines. Specifically, the company reported a loss of $331.3 million for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2023, which ended in August.

4. Macy’s

Macy’s, the major American department store chain, saw declines in most of its key metrics compared to the previous year. Specifically, the company’s net sales dropped to $5.2 billion from $5.4 billion in Q3 2021, and its net income declined to $108 million from $239 million in Q3 2021.

The shift towards online shopping has had a significant impact on the retail industry, particularly on fashion retailers like Macy’s, as consumers increasingly turn to the convenience and ease of online shopping for their clothing needs. In order to remain relevant in the face of this trend, retailers have had to invest in their own digital capabilities and e-commerce infrastructure.

5. Gap

Gap has seen declining sales for its flagship brand for an extended period of time and has struggled to remain relevant to many American shoppers. The company’s other brands, including Old Navy and Banana Republic, have also done poorly in recent years.

According to several sources, Gap’s Q3 2022 sales totaled $3.86 billion, a decline of 8% from the previous year. Both in-store and online sales decreased, with in-store sales dropping by 10% and online sales declining by 6%. Overall, comparable sales also decreased by 10% year-over-year.

6. Kohl’s

Kohl’s is the largest department store chain in the United States. It has been facing increasing costs for the goods it sells while also experiencing a decline in customer demand. The company recently lost its investment-grade credit rating, which may result in higher interest costs when its debts mature in 2023.

Kohl’s has been working to improve the shopping experience by cleaning up its stores and adding Sephora shops to attract younger consumers and hopefully increase sales by $2 billion by 2025.

In summary, the retail sector has encountered numerous obstacles in the recent past, causing numerous well-known retailers to fight for their survival. From the rise of e-commerce to the challenges of adjusting to shifting consumer demands, these companies have had to adapt in order to stay afloat. 

Some have managed to successfully transform and reinvent themselves, while others have struggled to keep pace. As the industry continues to evolve, it remains to be seen which retailers will be able to overcome these challenges and emerge as successful players.