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National   /   January 6, 2021

Paul Bubny
By: Paul Bubny

Retail Bankruptcies Reach 12-Year High Amid Pandemic

As COVID-19 tipped segments of the economy into distress, energy, retail and consumer services companies led a total of 244 bankruptcy filings by large corporations in 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That was the most since 2009, when 293 U.S. companies sought protection from creditors.

The 27 bankruptcy filings from retailers last year marked the worst run for that sector since at least 2008, Bloomberg reported. American mainstays like JCPenney and Stein Mart Inc. fell into court protection as the pandemic raged, as did higher-end names like Brooks Brothers and Neiman Marcus.

More bankruptcy filings are expected this year as struggling retail firms including gyms and movie theaters finally succumb to their financial woes, according to Andrew Little, research analyst at New York City-based Global X. “We are having multiple years of disruption in the retail sector occur within months,” Little told Bloomberg in an interview.

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Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism.
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