Friday, January 19, 2018

Why More and More Retailers are Filing for Bankruptcy

From family-owned businesses to national chain stores, more and more retailers are filing for bankruptcy. Statistics show that retail bankruptcy filings were up more than 30 percent in 2017 from the year prior. 

So, what’s driving this change in the retail landscape, and what can retail business owners do to protect themselves?

The Transition from Offline to Online Shopping

Several factors play a role in the increasing number of retail closings, one of which is the trend of online shopping. It turns out that 51 percent of US Consumers prefer to shop online. Buying goods over the internet is often easier, more convenient and even cheaper. 

As a result, consumers have shifted their shopping habits from local shopping centers and malls to the internet.

Another issue is that supply, in many cases, outweighs demand. Retailers continue to open new stores in hopes of increasing revenue. With consumer demand stagnant, however, this doesn’t happen. 

Instead, retailers are left with a surplus of goods and high overhead costs. Retail business owners who want to survive must learn to adapt to market changes while providing a valuable service for consumers.

Major Retailers Filing for Bankruptcy

Even major retailers aren’t immune from these market changes. In September 2017, just months away from the holiday shopping season, Toys ‘R’ Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This prompted the national kids’ toy retailer to close some 200 stores.

Payless ShoeSource also fell into hard times last year. In April, the shoe store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, announcing the closure of approximately 800 stores.

Other retailers that have filed for bankruptcy protection in recent months include HHGregg, RadioShack, Eastern Outfitters, Gander Mountain, Gormans, Wet Seal and AĆ©ropostale.

How Bankruptcy Protection Can Help

Filing bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean the retail business will close. On the contrary, many retailers file it to keep their business alive during periods of financial hardship. 

When a retail business owner cannot pay his or her bills, bankruptcy offers a second change. As a business owner, you can keep a bankruptcy lawyer like the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel on call.

There are several different types of bankruptcy, including Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13. With Chapter 7, the business’s assets are handed over to a trustee who oversees its liquidation for the purpose of paying off debts. 

Chapter 11 and Chapter 13, however, typically provide retailers with an opportunity to continue their business. The retailer may arrange a reorganize their business structure, liquidating assets and closing stores, and he or she may agree to a repayment plan with creditors.

There’s an undeniable change happening in the retail landscape. However, retailers can overcome financial hardship by consolidating their operations and filing for bankruptcy protection.

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