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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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Reuters reports that Sports Direct International Plc, Britain’s largest sporting goods company with about 700 stores throughout Europe, is discussing a bid for Eastern Outfitters LLC (“Eastern Outfitters”), the parent of Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports (“EMS”).

Versa Capital Management LLC (“Versa”) is the owner of Eastern Outfitters. Last April, Vestis Retail Group LLC, the former holding company for Bob’s, EMS, and Sports Chalet, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Versa acquired Bob’s and EMS through the bankruptcy.


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As predicted last week, U.S. women’s apparel chain The Limited filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today in the United States Bankruptcy Court for Delaware on Tuesday, after closing all 250 stores, under case number 17-10124. See 10 Retailers to Watch for Possible Bankruptcy Filings in 2017.

This filing continues the trend in the competitive retail apparel industry with shrinking margins, high debt loads, and changing shopping habits of Baby-Boomers and Millennials.

Although The Limited’s stores are closing, the name may continue
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2016 ended on a high note with higher than expected holiday sales and overall a better real estate market. However, there were a number of retailers that sought bankruptcy protection. Some of the retailers, like Fairway and EMS, emerged as new entities in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings while their operations continued. Yet others, like Sports Authority and PacSun, closed their doors, leaving open spaces for landlords.

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On the heels of the Joyce Leslie and Sports Authority Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, another retailer just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and it appears that two (2) more retailers are preparing to file to reorganize.

PacSun, more formally known as Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc., just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning in the United States Bankruptcy Court for Delaware, docket # 16-10882. High debt forced the teen retailer of surf/beachwear to file. PacSun operates 600 stores and is expected to close a number of stores either after the big back to school or holiday season. It lists total assets of $298,853,000 and liabilities of $305,056,000 in its petition.


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