Retail bankruptcies just hit an all-time high — and these 18 companies could be the next to default


Retail bankruptcies hit an all-time high in the first quarter of the year, soaring past last year’s records, according to Moody’s Investor’s Service.

The fallout is far from over, however, with many more defaults expected for the remainder of 2018.

“We believe defaults in 2018 could match or exceed last year’s record level,” S&P Global Ratings analyst Robert Shulz wrote in a report that identified 20 retailers at risk of defaulting. Since publishing the report last month, two of the companies identified — the jewelry retailer Claire’sand grocery chain Bi-Lo— have filed for bankruptcy.

The pace of retail liquidations could also pick up this year, Shulz wrote.

“Despite store closures amid the turmoil, the US remains significantly oversaturated with retail stores,” he wrote. “Some retailers have made progress towards better aligning their physical footprint to the new reality of physical versus virtual sales, but there is still excess capacity.”

Toys R Us recently began liquidating its US business. The company has shut down its Toys R Us and Babies R Us websites, and it’s now holding going-out-of-business sales at its more than 700 US stores.

SearsJ.Crew, and Neiman Marcus are among the companies that could be next to default, according to S&P Global Markets.

Here’s the full list of the most at-risk retailers:


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