Mary-Conner-PoolAs we begin 2018, we cannot help but be reminded of some of the 50 retail chains that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017.   The list includes:

Gander Mountain

In March 2017, Gander Mountain filed bankruptcy. In May 2017, its assets were sold to Camping World.  The company will now be known as Gander Outdoors, and several of the Gander Mountain stores that were closed have been reopened or will be reopened as Gander Outdoors.  It will be exciting to see what Camping World can do with this outdoor outfitter.


In June 2017, this children’s clothing retailer filed chapter 11 and four months later exited bankruptcy.  As of November 2017, it closed 248 of the 350 stores, which is part of its reorganization plan.  As a mother of a three year old, I have ordered from Gymboree many times before and after the bankruptcy.  My experience with this company has only been positive.

Radio Shack

In March 2017, Radio Shack filed its second bankruptcy in two years.  The most amazing news is that Radio Shack was granted clearance last week to exit bankruptcy.  According to the company’s reorganization plan, it will exist primarily online and through dealer networks.  This company is very close to my heart because growing up in the 80s, I remember my dad going to get the latest and greatest gadgets from Radio Shack.  It is encouraging to see this electronic retailer still going.

The Limited

This retailer filed bankruptcy in January 2017 and closed all of its 250 stores.  This company was later purchased by private-equity firm Sycamore Partners. In October 2017, the company relaunched online.

Toys ‘R’ Us

Toys ‘R’ Us filed bankruptcy in September 2017.  Recently, the toy retailer announced that it hired a liquidation company to help determine what locations need to be closed this year. Although the exact store locations have not been announced, last month, analysts at investment bank UBS estimated that roughly 21% of the company’s U.S. locations could be closed.

It is not known yet how the bankruptcy filing of Toys ‘R’ Us will affect toy makers in the U.S., but it is safe to say there will be an impact. On a personal note, after ordering several toys online over the holiday, I hope that Toys ‘R’ Us will focus on revamping its online procedures to make the process more enjoyable for consumers.

Payless ShoeSource

Although its profit statement appeared to show a profit, in April 2017, Payless ShoeSource filed Chapter 11.  It quickly reemerged in August 2017.  The retail shoe chain went from 4,400 stores at the time of filing bankruptcy to (now, post-bankruptcy) about 3,500 stores.  Due to its bankruptcy filing, Payless ShoeSource was able to shed about $435 million in debt.


This is another company where the profit statement showed a profit before filing bankruptcy in May 2017.  This teen clothing retailer has since closed about 400 stores and reemerged from bankruptcy in September 2017.


It will be exciting to see how these companies progress post-bankruptcy.

2017 saw the highest rate of retailer bankruptcies since the recession. Analysts also say that more retailers are expected to file for bankruptcy in 2018.  According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, there are several retailers that it anticipates are likely to default in 2018.  The companies include (but are not limited to) Sears Holdings (parent company of Sears and Kmart), Stein Mart, Inc., Burlington Stores, Inc., and Tailored Brands, Inc. (parent company of Men’s Warehouse and Jos. A. Bank).

Do you have questions regarding Chapter 11, Chapter 7, or Chapter 13 bankruptcies? Contact the attorneys at Bond & Botes, P.C. to schedule a free, initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices.

Mary Pool
Written by Mary Pool

Mary Pool is a shareholder of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law. She has represented thousands of clients over her more than 11 years working in the bankruptcy field. Read her full bio here.

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