Retail Bankruptcy

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Chart showing YoY sales and online vs. in-store share for bankrupt and solvent department stores.

It’s been a tough few months for retail. J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus announced bankruptcies in May, followed by Lord & Taylor just this week.

While COVID-related store closures and customer caution drove e-commerce close to 100% of sales in April, and share remaining elevated vs. pre-COVID levels, the pivot to online clearly wasn’t enough to prevent a massive drop in sales overall.

Of the survivors, Kohl’s is the closest to normalcy trailing only -10% YoY in June, followed by Dillard’s -32% (despite an uncommonly small portion of online sales), Macy’s at -39%, and Nordstrom at -45%. Given the similar trends between the newly bankrupt and still standing stores, we’ll be monitoring the back-to-school shopping period closely


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