US retail is going through a tough time indeed. Neiman Marcus might even go bankrupt. Nordstrom are about to lay off. Such are the early alert messages coming from the retail business, which could be compelled to shut down thousands of selling stores in 2020, owing to the pandemic, currently underway, which dramatically brings back to present the Apocalypse Retail of the latest seasons.
Over 15,000 stores
According to a report, carried out by Coresight Research (subsequently reported by RetailDive), in 2020 over 15,000 stores in the USA might shut down. Compared to 2019 record figure, this number is much higher: last year, in fact, closures amounted to 9,548. Deborah Weinswig, Chief Executive Officer of the analysis company, stressed the fact, in the report, that the pandemic “is going to heavily affect in-store retail sales. We expect a few retailers, who have recently announced a provisional closure of their shops – including some renowned brands – not to open anymore”. Most of all, the crisis will hit retailers who suffer from a shortage of capital assets. Likewise, it will also affect other businesses, which had been already taking on some structural challenges, even prior to Coronavirus outbreak, and were unable to redirect their own clientele towards online shopping. In particular, the crisis will deeply hit apparel retailers and department stores.
Neiman Marcus might be the first brand to go bankrupt and close forever. At present, the US retailer is considering all feasible options to safeguard its business. As reported by Bloomberg, one of the options, among others, could be a claim in bankruptcy. Should they file such application, according to analysts, they might adjust a 4.3 billion dollar debt, downscale and start up again. Neiman Marcus, which is in control over Bergdorf Goodman, Last Call, Horchow and Mytheresa, is negotiating with financial supporters in order to pinpoint the best action to take.
Nordstrom have decided to shut their own selling stores in the United States and in Canada until April 5th. “Consequently, from that day onwards, we shall urge some of the company’s employees to take a six-week leave from work”, remarked Erik Nordstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Nordstrom. “This is going to be the hardest decision we have ever made in the long history of our company. During our activity, which has been going on for 119 years, our enterprise has taken on several challenges, but now we are facing unprecedented days”, they pointed out in a press release.