Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights

The global pandemic has upended retail across the country. In most cases landlords and tenants are working together to get through this adversity. Although vaccines are expected before the end of the year, the distribution will not likely be available to everyone until at least mid-2021. As such, the retail industry is expected to have a tough slog through at least the first part of the year.

Continue Reading 20 Retailers to Watch for a Bankruptcy Filing in the First Half of 2021

Youfit Health Clubs filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning in the District of Delaware, docket #20-12853 MFW. The club with more than 80 locations in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia, follows in the footsteps of other health clubs that have filed for Chapter11 protection in the last few months, including New York Sports Clubs and 24-Hour Fitness.

Continue Reading Youfit Health Clubs Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Delaware

Ascena Retail Group, Inc., the parent of the Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, Lou & Grey and LOFT retail chains, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday, July 23, 2020 in the Eastern District of Virginia, docket # 20-33113. According to MarketWatch, the New Jersey-based company expects to reduce debt to become profitable. Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and other chains will continue to operate through the restructuring with about 95% of stores open, while the company reduces its footprint.

Continue Reading Ascena Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Virginia

The unprecedented global pandemic has created a limbo for most retail tenants, and in some cases, left landlords without payment of rents. Further, some states have placed moratoriums on eviction actions, allowing tenant to stay and not pay. However, as states begin to open back up for business there appears to be light at the end of this tunnel. Still, expect a host of retailers to file for protection in July and August to eliminate stores and try to renegotiate rents.

Although we normally provide a list of 10 retailers to watch, we have increased the list to 20 given the current state of affairs. Following are the top 20 to retailers to watch for possible Chapter 11 filing(s) in the remaining year:

Continue Reading 20 Retailers to Watch for a Bankruptcy Filing in the Second Half of 2020

Hair cuttery bankruptcyGovernment orders directing the shut-down of non-essential retailers, as a result of COVID-19, have forced another retail chain into bankruptcy. Creative Hairdressers, Inc. (“Creative”), the parent of Hair Cuttery, filed for Chapter 11 relief yesterday in the bankruptcy court for the District of Maryland. According to its first day filings, Creative is one of the largest independent, family owned chain of hair salons that provides comprehensive services for men and women.

Continue Reading Hair Cuttery Enters Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – Seeks to Trim 49 Locations

In an ironic bankruptcy twist, the COVID-19 outbreak is thwarting Modell’s Sporting Goods’ ability to liquidate. Modell’s filed its bankruptcy case on March 11th and announced that it was closing all 134 of its stores. The chain was founded by Morris A. Modell in 1889, with a single store on Cortlandt Street in Manhattan. Modell’s followed in the footsteps of The Sports Authority, Gander Mountain, Eastern Mountain Sports, and other sporting goods retailers who have struggled mightily in recent years, and have landed in Chapter 11. Modell’s intention was to complete all liquidation sales by the end of April. The budgets filed with the bankruptcy court reveal no line item for lease expenses starting in May.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Forces Modell’s to “Mothball” Chapter 11 Efforts

Earth Fare, Inc., the 45-year old natural and organic grocery chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday in Delaware under docket number 20-10256. The Debtor operates more than 53 grocery stores throughout the Southeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

The company is privately held and backed by private equity firms Oak Hill Capital Partners and Green Capital Partners. The Wall Street Journal and the Motley Fool report that the Debtor plans to close all stores.

Continue Reading Earth Fare Files for Liquidating Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The lawsuits just keep coming… last week, Chapter 11 Debtor, Sears Holdings Corporation (“Sears”) continued to file hundreds of preference complaints to recover money from paid pre-petition creditors. The Debtor filed a mass of suits back in November 2019.

For most creditors, it makes no sense that they receive a complaint to return money for goods or services sold prior to October 15, 2018, when the company filed for bankruptcy protection. However, the Federal Bankruptcy Code allows a debtor to recover “preferences” in bankruptcy – 11 U.S.C. 547.

If you are a trade creditor who received a complaint, before you open the check book to Sears, know what defenses there are to this statutory claim.

Continue Reading Sears Continues to File Hundreds of Preference Suits Against Trade Creditors

Retail and restaurant Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings continued to grab headlines in 2019. According to CNBC, there were 23 retail bankruptcies in 2019, compared with 17 in 2018.

Six (6) retailers and one (1) restaurant chain that were on our “Watch List” in 2019 filed for Chapter 11 protection – Charming Charlie (Part 2), Forever 21, Payless (Part 2), Charlotte Russe, Things Remembered, Gymboree (Part 2), and Perkins & Marie Callender.

As the New Year unfolds, following are 10 retailers to watch for possible Chapter 11 filing(s) in the year ahead.

Continue Reading Retailers to Watch for a Bankruptcy Filing in 2020