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行业快速变化,2017年零售企业扎堆破产

Phil Wahba 2017年07月11日

知名牛仔服装品牌True Religion因未能迎合不断变化的消费者口味而败走麦城。

风光一时的牛仔品牌True Religion在上周三表示,公司正在寻求破产法院保护,以削减其债务,并改善其不断下滑的业务。标普全球市场情报为《财富》汇编的数据显示,该公司成为了这个日历年第23位寻求破产保护的零售商或以消费品为导向的公司。零售业破产企业的数量或将创历史新高。

True Religion首席执行官约翰·艾玛廷格在一份声明中指出,即便在True Religion专注于打造其电商业务的期间,重组交易可允许公司继续维持其店面营业。此外,公司的计划(取决于法院的批准)要求将债务削减三分之二,即减至5.35亿美元。公司称,它将利用破产法来关闭或合并业绩不佳的店面,而且会尽可能地与业主重新协商租赁条款。然而,Ture Religion仍有可能关闭其店面。这家15年前成立的品牌上一个财年的营收为3.695亿美元,但销售额在过去几年中一直处于下滑状态。

申请破产的公司不止True Religion一家,这一点应该能给艾玛廷格带来些许安慰。很多零售商都在这一艰难的时期申请破产,尤其是以大卖场为依托的服装店。在过去两年中,像American Apparel、Quiksilver、Wet Seal、Nasty Gal和Pacific Sunwear这样的品牌均申请了破产保护。上个月,Papaya Clothing也加入了破产大军。

购物选择的增加、年轻消费者变化无常、众多商场遭遇冷落以及快时尚连锁店更快的生产周期(例如H&M和Forever 21)对这些零售商造成了巨大的冲击。再者,面对亚马逊在某些领域不断壮大的主导地位,其他零售商未能升级其产品种类和业务模式。销售额的下降和店面的扩张共同导致了其中很多品牌的覆灭。

标普公司全球市场情报部门在今年早些时候发表的一篇文章中指出,“零售业的困境是多方面的,每个深陷困境的公司都面临着不同的难题,但人们普遍认为,美国的店面数已过于饱和,如果要拯救毫无起色或不断下滑的店面销售额,零售商在很大程度上需要通过在线业务来寻找对策。当前,销售额增长大部分都集中在线上。”破产潮在短时间内还不会结束:今年冬季,穆迪投资者服务的一篇报告指出,到期债务将在未来5年内逐渐达到创纪录的水平。

以下是2017年主要破产零售公司的清单:

The Limited公司

女性服饰连锁店The Limited于1月份申请破产保护,公司宣布将关闭美国所有250家店面,但仍将以在线的方式开展业务。公司指出,以大卖场为依托的零售店正面临着挑战。

Wet Seal公司

这家带有冲浪风情的连锁店今年冬季第二次申请破产,关闭了其剩余的171家门店,并对业务进行了清算,为这家红极一时的品牌画上了不光彩的句号。

Eastern Outfitters公司

折扣连锁店Bob's Stores以及户外用品零售商Eastern Mountain Sports的母公司Eastern Outfitters于2月宣布破产,主要原因在于体育用品领域日趋激烈的竞争,而残酷的竞争也让The Sports Authority公司在去年走到了尽头。

BCBG Max Azria公司

BCBG Max Azria申请了破产保护,原因在于苦不堪言的巨额债务。

Hhgregg公司

电子产品零售商未能像其对手Best Buy那样在亚马逊时代调整其策略。此外,hhgregg在其另一个主要业务板块——家居用品和电器领域——也面临着压力。在冬季寻求破产法院的保护之后,Hhgregg随后关闭了所有的店面,其对手Best Buy、Sears和J.C. Penney正寻求瓜分其部分市场份额。

Radio Shack公司

由于面临颇具挑战性的电子产品零售环境,外加上与无线服务提供商Sprint Corp令人失望的合作,电子产品连锁店RadioShack Corp于3月申请破产,这是该公司在略超过两年的时间中第二次申请破产。

Gander Mountain公司

这家户外和体育用品零售商为过于激进的扩张付出了代价,它于3月向法院申请破产保护。两个月后,总部位于伊利诺伊州的房车零售网点公司以及户外相关服务提供商Camping World Holdings在法庭拍卖中购买了Gander Mountain公司,并表示将维持Gander 70家店面的运营。

Payless公司

在4月初,Payless ShoeSource已确认向法院寻求破产保护,藉此削减部分让其苦不堪言的债务,并关闭400家门店,以期轻装上阵,东山再起。该零售商一直在奋力与DSW和TJX旗下的T.J. Maxx开展竞争。

Rue21公司

关注于青少年市场的连锁店于4月开始关闭其400家门店,随后在5月申请了破产。

Gymboree公司

上个月,童装公司寻求破产保护,以削减9亿美元的债务,并关闭了数百家店面。其竞争对手The Children's Place、Carter's,甚至塔吉特百货均让其感到苦不堪言。

到目前为止, 2017年寻求破产保护的零售商还包括Fabric Avenue、Vanity Shop of Grand Forks、Michigan Sporting Goods Distributors、Marbles Holdings和Pinnacle Auto Lease等。 (财富中文网)

译者:冯峰

审校:夏林

True Religion, a once popular denim brand, on Wednesday said it was seeking bankruptcy court protection to slash its debt and fix its ailing business, becoming the 23rd retailer or consumer-oriented company to do so this calendar year, according to data compiled for Fortune by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The retail sector is on pace for a record number of bankruptcies.

True Religion Chief Executive John Ermatinger said in a statement that the restructuring deal will allow True Religion to keep stores open even as it focuses on building up its e-commerce. What's more, the company's plan, subject to court approval, calls for reducing its debt by three-quarter to $535 million, the company said it would use bankruptcy laws to close or consolidate underperforming stores and, where possible, renegotiate leases with landlords. Still, it is likely True Religion will close stores. The 15 year-old brand had sales of $369.5 million in revenue in its most recent fiscal year but sales have been in decline for some years.

Ermatinger can take solace knowing he has plenty of company: the bankruptcy filing comes at a difficult time for many retailers, particularly mall-based apparel stores. In the last two years, brands like American Apparel, Quiksilver, Wet Seal, Nasty Gal and Pacific Sunwear have filed for bankruptcy protection. Last month, Papaya Clothing joined those ranks.

The abundance of options, the fickleness of young shoppers, the dwindling popularity of many malls and the faster production cycle of fast-fashion chains like H&M and Forever 21 have taken a heavy toll on such retailers. Elsewhere, other retailers have been unable to update their assortment and business model to reflect Amazon.com's (amzn, +1.86%) growing dominance in some areas. Dwindling sales and inflated stores fleets have combined to put many of them out of business.

"Retail's troubles are manifold, and the diagnosis is different in each struggling company's case, but it is widely agreed that the U.S. is over-stored and that the solution for flat or declining in-store sales resides to a significant degree online, where the most sales growth is now taking place," S&P Global Market Intelligence said in an article earlier this year. And the bloodbath won't end soon: this winter, a report by Moody's Investors Service found that debt maturities were on their way to record levels in the next five years.

Here is a list of the major 2017 retail bankruptcies so far:

The Limited

Women's apparel chain The Limited filed for bankruptcy protection in January, announcing it would close all 250 of its stores across the United States but remain open as an online business, citing the challenges facing mall-based retail.

Wet Seal

The surfing flavored chain filed for bankruptcy for the second time this winter, closing its remaining 171 stores and liquidating its business, an ignominious end to a once popular brand.

Eastern Outfitters

Eastern Outfitters, the parent of discount chain Bob's Stores and outdoor retailer Eastern Mountain Sports, filed in February, felled by growing competition in the sporting goods arena that put The Sports Authority out of business the year before.

BCBG Max Azria

BCBG Max Azria Group filed for bankruptcy protection, choked by a huge debt load.

Hhgregg

The electronics retailer was unable to adjust to the Amazon era, unlike rival Best Buy (bby, -1.81%). What's more, hhgregg faced pressure in home furnishings and appliances, the other big chunk of its business. After seeking bankruptcy court protection in the winter, Hhgregg later shut down all its stores, with the likes of Best Buy, Sears and J.C. Penney (jcp, -1.26%) looking to win some of the market share.

Radio Shack

The electronics chain RadioShack Corp filed for bankruptcy in March for the second time in a little over two years, faced with a challenging retail environment for its category and a disappointing partnership with wireless provider Sprint Corp.

Gander Mountain

The outdoor and sporting goods retailer paid a price for overly aggressive expansion, landing in bankruptcy court in March. Two months later, Camping World Holdings, an Illinois-based network of RV-centric retail locations and outdoor-related services, won Gander Mountain in a court auction and said it would keep open 70 of Gander's stores.

Payless

In early April, Payless ShoeSource confirmed that it would seek bankruptcy court protection as it looked to unload some crippling debt and close 400 stores in the hopes of making another go of it as a leaner store chain. The retailer has struggled to compete with the likes of DSW (dsw, -2.20%) and TJX's (tax, +1.52%) T.J. Maxx.

Rue21

The teen focused chain started closing 400 stores in April before filing for bankruptcy the following month.

Gymboree

Last month, the children's wear company sought bankruptcy protection to lower its debt by $900 million and close hundreds of stores. Gymboree has had trouble competing with rivals like The Children's Place, Carter's and even Target.

Other retailers to seek bankruptcy protection in 2017 so far include: Fabric Avenue, Vanity Shop of Grand Forks, Michigan Sporting Goods Distributors, Marbles Holdings, Pinnacle Auto Lease, among others.

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