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Bankruptcy & COVID: Which Businesses Have Filed

— April 16, 2021

Businesses that need answers to their bankruptcy questions, or want support through their filing, should contact an experienced, professional bankruptcy attorney can be a great asset to improve their finances.

Over a year from Coronavirus being declared an international pandemic (COVID), there have been thousands of businesses declaring bankruptcy. All business types from retail and travel to dining and entertainment filed for reorganization (Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy) or liquidation (Chapter 7 bankruptcy). 

Most of us are well-experienced with the impact on our own lives during the time of quarantines, shutdowns, and limited or lack of essential goods and income. On top of their home concerns, business owners had to deal with the financial stress of paying employees, storefront rent, products, loans, and more. Many business owners held out as long as they could, however, even with government assistance many were unable to stay afloat on their own. Prominent, household name brands, as well as new businesses, have succumbed to the havoc of 2020. We’re taking a look at the larger businesses that have filed for bankruptcy as well as some of the businesses that could be heading to bankruptcy court soon.

Major Retail Businesses Have Filed For Bankruptcy

Despite today’s technology and e-commerce capabilities, many retailers were struggling to maintain their revenue in the online shopping space. Many of the listed retailers offer their products on their own website as well as through fulfillment businesses such as Amazon, however, a large proportion of their revenue came from an in-person point of sale, and they were not able to match these numbers in the e-commerce space. 

Some of the major retailers that have filed for bankruptcy are: 

True Religion Apparel: This apparel store hasn’t seen popularity since the early 2010s. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time in its lifespan on April 13. 

Neiman Marcus: The luxury department store has been struggling for a few years and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 7. 

JCPenney: Another well-known department store, this well-known company filed for Chapter 11 on May 15.

Francesca’s: An apparel and accessories store, Francesca’s filed for Chapter 11 in December 2020.

Guitar Center: One of the few prominent music stores left, Guitar Center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late November.

Travel Companies That Have Filed for Bankruptcy

The travel industry was hit the hardest during the pandemic with all traveling, both domestic and international, dropping 42%. With travel demand hitting an all-time low, many airlines had to file bankruptcy. Some of the most notable filings include:

Norwegian Air: The airline was struggling before the pandemic and was pushed over the edge with travel bans. The company filed for Chapter 11 in November 2020.

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia: Virgin Australia filed for bankruptcy in April 2020. Virgin Atlantic filed for Chapter 15 in August 2020. 

Aeromexico: This Mexico-based airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020.

LATAM Airlines: Latin America’s most popular airline filed for Chapter 11 protection in May 2020.

Avianca: Another Latin American airline filed for Chapter 11 protection in May 2020.

Entertainment and Lifestyle Companies That Filed For Bankruptcy

“Social distancing” was heavily encouraged and enforced through the pandemic on top of the proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves. However, even with the use of these precautions, many brands continue to feel the impact of Coronavirus. Most of these business categories are expecting big changes, and their industry will never be the same.

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Studio Movie Grill: This restaurant and theater chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2020.

Cirque du Soleil: This acrobatic show filed for bankruptcy in June 2020.

Chuck E. Cheese: This iconic children’s food and play filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2020.

24 Hour Fitness: This fitness chain filed under Chapter 11 pandemic-related bankruptcy in June 2020. 

Gold’s Gym: This chain closed 30 locations in April and subsequently filed for bankruptcy in May 2020.

Businesses That May Be Facing Bankruptcy

While their competitors may be financially struggling, this doesn’t mean consumers are flocking to these businesses. Everyone has been seriously impacted by the Coronavirus, including these companies that could be filing for bankruptcy very soon.

SeaWorld: Many theme parks are re-opening their doors to the public, but for some, it may not be enough. There are murmurs that SeaWorld is facing bankruptcy.

AMC Theatres: Despite its name being a hot topic in the stock market lately, the theatre chain may still face serious financial struggles as many people are concerned with being in an enclosed space so close to others. They also have many streaming service competitors.

Party City: Since the pandemic has encouraged social distancing, there has been a serious lack of parties to host. The company may face bankruptcy very soon. 

Bankruptcy Help For Businesses

Many of these large businesses have a team of attorneys and professionals to help them navigate through the bankruptcy process, whether liquidation or reorganization is filed. However, many small and medium businesses experienced similar struggles and impacts on their bottom line. For businesses that need answers to their bankruptcy questions, or want support through their filing, an experienced, professional bankruptcy attorney can be a great asset to improve their finances.

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