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On December 11, 2017, Charming Charlie Holdings, Inc. (“Charming Charlie”), the Houston–based fashion jewelry and accessories chain filed a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case in the United Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Charming Charlie has closed about 100 of its 360 stores. Further, its New York City flagship location on Fifth Avenue will soon close.

The company is working with turnaround advisor AlixPartners LLP, in addition to other restructuring advisors and attorneys.

More than 15 retailers, including Toys “R” Us Inc, the largest toy seller in the U.S., have filed for bankruptcy this year.


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Wayne, NJ-based Toys “R” Us filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond) on Monday (Case no. 17-34665). Toys “R” Us operates more than 1,600 locations for both Toy “R” Us and Babies “R” Us and employs approximately 64,000 people. The chain is seeking borrow money in order to pay suppliers by restructuring $5 billion in long-term debt. The company noted that the approaching holiday shopping season accounts for 40% of its net sales.

Prior to the filing, almost all the company’s vendors sought cash in advance before shipping products, forcing Toys “R” Us to raise $1 billion for suppliers. The company’s debt is attributed to a $6.6 billion buyout in 2005 led by KKR & Co. LP, Bain Capital LP and Vornado Realty Trust.


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Thirty six years ago today, MTV was launched. The song by the The Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star” was the first video played. Non-video, radio artists, like Christopher Cross (remember “Sailing?”), suffered, by not being ready for TV. Yet, how many people today actually think about a singer’s video and not their song? Heck, when was the last time you saw a video on MTV?

Just like MTV didn’t really kill all the radio stars, Amazon, demographic changes, and consumer tastes are not killing all the shopping centers and malls. Rather, these developments are changing the way we use and see the shopping center and mall experience.

True, there are a number of so-called “dead” centers. At one time, these were popular (just like Christopher Cross), anchored by Sears, JCPenney, or some other big box store that drew traffic. The structure, zoning, and high traffic areas with good visibility to the community still exist. There is just no draw… no “MTV” … to bring people in. This presents opportunities for developers to resurrect “dead” centers.


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Rue21 Inc. (“Rue21”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Pittsburgh, PA on Monday (case no. 17-22045-GLT, Western District of Pennsylvania).

This was another bankruptcy filing I saw coming back in January, when I wrote my blog Retailers to Watch for Possible Bankruptcy Filings in 2017. In the bankruptcy petition, the teen fashion retail chain lists more than 1,100 stores in the U.S. and assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion and $10 billion.


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Kansas-based Payless, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) on Tuesday afternoon, under docket # 17-42257.

If you read my blog post about Payless from two weeks ago, this filing should come as no surprise to you. I even put Payless on my retail bankruptcy watch list for 2017 back in January.

The retail discount shoe chain has more than 4,000 stores in 30 countries. CNN reports 400 stores are closing immediately. The company has about $665 million in debt, according to Reuters. In February, Moody’s downgraded the company debt rating, stating the company shown “weaker than anticipated operating performance.”


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As i mentioned in my blog from January, “11 Retailers to Watch for Possible Bankruptcy Filings in 2017,” it looks like Payless is on the verge of a bankruptcy filing.

Bloomberg reports that Kansas-based Payless, Inc. may be filing for bankruptcy protection as early as next week. The retail discount shoe chain has more than 4,000 stores in 30 countries. Speculation is that they will close about 10 to 15% of the stores as it reorganizes.


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Last month I posted a blog indicating that Gander Mountain was possibly preparing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The rumors were true.

St. Paul-based hunting and fishing chain, Gander Mountain Company, which bills itself as “America’s Forearms Supercenter,” filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota, docket # 17-30673 and 17-30675. Gander Mountain is the nation’s largest retail network of outdoor specialty stores for shooting sports, hunting, fishing, camping, marine, apparel, footwear, and outdoor lifestyle.


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The 61-year old Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics chain, HH Gregg, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The company has struggled with declining sales for about four years. According to Reuters, HH Greg has a signed a term sheet with an unnamed party to purchase its assets, and it is expected to emerge from the bankruptcy process in approximately 60 days. Of its more than 220 stores, the company plans to operate about 130 normally throughout the restructuring process. It said last week it would shut 88 stores.

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