Wall Street successfully fought off the bear market spurred by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, but the American economy’s recovery is far from over. As the pandemic stretches into the fall months, it continues to induce a growing number of bankruptcy filings.
Though, in many cases, COVID-19 has simply acted as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The retail industry in particular has endured a difficult past few months. Sure, many “non-essential” retailers were finally able to open their doors once more. However, several of these chains that were already overloaded with debt, and had been suffering from long-term declines amid changing tastes and Americans’ swelling adoption of e-commerce, were finally pushed over the edge.
But the swath in bankruptcies hasn’t been limited to retail. COVID-19 has forced companies from several industries to seek out Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and other types of relief. The energy sector, where the oil declines of 2014-16 weakened a number of exploration and production companies, saw the coronavirus-sparked oil-demand slump finish off the job in several cases. A few financially wobbly companies in the restaurant and entertainment industries have collapsed, too.
Just remember: Bankruptcy filings aren’t always “the end.” In many cases, Chapter 11 reorganizations and other maneuvers help companies shed significant amounts of debt, allowing them to continue operating as they try to find a new way forward. That said, COVID-19 is threatening to knock a few well-known brand names out of existence entirely.
Here are 23 companies whose recent bankruptcy filings can be chalked up to the COVID-19 outbreak. In most cases, these businesses were already showing signs of financial duress – the coronavirus merely delivered the coup de grâce.
Data is as of Sept. 2.