The Backroom: Retail bankruptcies are poised for a comeback - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Backroom: Retail bankruptcies are poised for a comeback


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Welcome to The Backroom, a window into what goes on behind the scenes as the Retail Dive team covers the stories and trends reshaping retail. You can check out all our podcast episodes (past and present) here and listen on Apple PodcastsStitcheriHeartRadio and Spotify​​

Retailers in distress aren’t so different from everyone else. They face the same market vagaries, the same broad swings in consumer behavior and the same uncertainties involved in trying to anticipate the future. 

Balance sheets can make the difference between a company that is facing down bankruptcy and one that is simply weathering a short-term macro headwind. Then again, others have made bad bets on their business investments or on where their consumer or the world is going. Still, others carry a long history of unprofitability before it finally catches up with them. Their model might never have been sustainable. 

Every year Retail Dive publishes at least one watch list of retailers in financial distress and at risk of filing for bankruptcy. Looking at the lists year to year can tell us a lot about the industry, and not just those in distress.

This year our watch list was several times larger than last year — one more sign of how industry fortunes have changed in a short amount of time.

Declines in consumer spending have revealed existing vulnerabilities while also creating new vulnerabilities for more than a few retailers. In this episode of the Backroom, we dive into why bankruptcy risk matters and what everyone can learn from those companies on the edge today.

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Editor’s note: This show was produced and edited by Caroline Jansen.


Retail Dive Staff, Khareem Sudlow