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17 Retailers at Risk of Defaulting or Going Bankrupt

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The so-called retail apocalypse may be slowing down, but only because there are fewer stores to shutter. It’s still underway. Payless ShoeSource and Gymboree are among several retailers that have filed for bankruptcy just one quarter into 2019.

The thinning of the herd may continue. Credit-rating agency Moody’s recently identified 17 retailing names that were facing an unusually high risk of defaulting on a bond payment in the foreseeable future. The report discussing the challenges these retailers face notes, “We expect to see continued pressure on retailers that do not have the financial capacity to weather pricing pressures and the onslaught of e-commerce.” Tougher debt loads also are an issue, write Moody’s analysts Manoj Chadha and Charles O’Shea.


Firms that default on a bond are prime candidates for a bankruptcy filing, which actually can help alleviate several issues. “Companies that file for bankruptcy are ostensibly able to use the protections offered by the Bankruptcy Code to slash high debt balances and associated interest expense burdens, renegotiate lease terms, reduce headcount, and close a number of underperforming stores all at once,” Moody’s writes.

Here are 17 retailers that Moody’s believes are at risk of a credit default or bankruptcy filing. A few of these companies are publicly traded retail stocks, some are privately held. But all are familiar retail names that consumers might want to visit one more time, if only for nostalgia’s stake in case the ultimate end is near.

SEE ALSO: 10 of the Worst Stock Calls By the Pros


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