A pedestrian wearing a mask walks by a Neiman Marcus store on April 23 in Washington. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

The retail industry, rife with bankruptcies and shuttered stores long before the coronavirus, is facing its biggest test yet.

Lockdowns triggered by the pandemic have forced the temporary closures of 263,000 stores, according to GlobalData Retail, and analysts say it remains to be seen how many will be able to reopen.

A number of the nation’s most iconic brands are at risk of disappearing, as weeks-long lockdowns and deep economic unrest disrupt consumer spending. More than 100,000 stores could disappear by the end of 2025, according to UBS. There already are signs of distress: Retail sales plummeted 8.7 percent in March, their worst drop on record, and analysts say conditions will only worsen in the coming months.

Change in retail revenue by store type,

March 2019 vs. March 2020

$150B

–23%

100B

–24%

–6%

50B

–51%

–25%

0

Restaurants

Department

stores

Automotive

Specialty

Apparel

Change in retail revenue by type, March 2019 vs. March 2020

$150B

–23%

100B

–24%

–6%

50B

–51%

–25%

0

Automotive

Restaurants

Specialty

Apparel

Department

stores

$150B

–23%

+9%

Change in revenue by store type, March 2019 vs. March 2020,

adjusted for inflation

+19%

100B

–24%

–6%

50B

–51%

–25%

0

Automotive

Restaurants

Specialty

Apparel

Department

stores

Grocery

and health

stores

Other*

*Includes warehouse clubs, supercenters and other retailers

$150B

–23%

+9%

Change in revenue by store type, March 2019 vs. March 2020,

adjusted for inflation

+19%

100B

–24%

–6%

50B

–51%

–25%

0

Automotive

Restaurants

Specialty

Apparel

Department

stores

Grocery

and health

stores

Other*

*Includes warehouse clubs, supercenters and other retailers

J. Crew and Neiman Marcus filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, becoming the first major retailers to do so during the pandemic. Both said they will keep operating stores as they take steps to shore up their businesses.

The crisis accelerates a long-expanding divide between the nation’s strongest retailers — like Amazon, Walmart and Target — and its weakest. Department stores and apparel companies have reported huge drops in sales since March, as many Americans hunker down at home. Other sectors, like restaurants and car dealerships, which have notoriously low profit margins, also have been hard hit. (Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)

“The companies with the thinnest margins are the most vulnerable,” said Hugh Ray, a bankruptcy attorney for the Dallas-based law firm McKool Smith. “The bread and butter for bankruptcy lawyers is restaurants, grocery stores, and automobile businesses with margins that are too thin to sustain much of an interruption.”

Agencies like Moody’s and S&P Global Ratings have slashed credit ratings for a number of struggling retailers, scuttling their chances of accessing corporate bonds or government stimulus money reserved for companies in good financial shape. This means that some of the nation’s weakest retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Gap and J.C. Penney, have little recourse against mounting losses.

The Poor Credit Mall

Poor Credit

Companies in this faux mall are rated as speculative investments at Moody’s and S&P as of April 13. These stores are already in financial trouble, and may not be able to access government stimulus money. The stores with the worst ratings are closer to the top of the mall. Brands that are part of the same company, like the Gap and Old Navy, are included in the same storefront.

Store footprint is relative to

company revenue

More than

$20 billion

Less than

$1 billion

Lowest-rated

stores

Steak ‘n Shake

defaulted

on debt

on April 1*

Near or in default, they

have a low likelihood

of recovering

Moody’s ratings: Ca, CC

S&P ratings: CC, C, D

Specialty

GNC

S1

Restaurants

Steak ‘n Shake

R1

*Steak 'n Shake performed a distressed asset repurchase,

which S&P considers "tantamount to default"

Department Stores

J.C. Penney

D1

Neiman Marcus

D2

Low-rated

stores

Belk

D3

Automotive

AutoNation

M1

Service King

M2

Poor-quality investment

ratings with a very

high credit risk

Neiman Marcus

filed for bankrupcy

on May 8

Moody’s: Caa1, Caa2, Caa3

S&P: CCC

J.C. Penney

missed interest

payments

on April 15

J. Crew filed

for bankrupcy

on May 4

Restaurants

GPS Hospitality Holding owns

franchises for these chains

Red Lobster

R1

Burger King / Popeyes / Pizza Hut

R2

Qdoba

R3

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

Chuck E. Cheese

R4

R6

California Pizza Kitchen

Fogo de Chao

R5

R7

Apparel

Same

company

J. Crew

J. Jill

A1

A3

Ann Taylor / Loft / Justice

Talbots

A2

A4

Specialty

Main Event

Guitar Center

S1

S5

Petco

At Home

S2

S6

Bob’s Discount Furniture

Jo-Ann

S7

S3

99 Cents Only Stores

Party City

S8

S4

Medium-

rated stores

Specialty

Vulnerable

to economic

difficulties but able

to meet financial

commitments

Bed Bath & Beyond

S1

GameStop

S2

The Container Store

S3

PetSmart

S4

Camping World

S5

Bass Pro Shops

S6

Moody’s: B1, B2, B3

Conn’s HomePlus

S7

S&P: B

Spencer’s / Spirit Halloween

S8

Apparel

Victoria’s Secret / Bath & Body Works / Pink

A1

Abercrombie & Fitch / Abercrombie Kids / Hollister

A2

Men’s Wearhouse / Moores / JoS. A. Bank

A3

Anywear / Cherokee / Dickies

A4

Cole Haan

A5

Fossil

Nine West

A6

A8

Lands’ End

Augusta Sportswear

A7

A9

Carrols Restaurant Group

owns franchises for these chains

Restaurants

Burger King / Popeyes

R1

Arby’s / Buffalo Wild Wings / Sonic

R2

Maggiano’s Little Italy / Chili’s

R3

Applebees / Taco Bell / Panera

R4

Whataburger

R5

Flynn

Restaurant

Group

Taco Bell

Tacala LLC

R6

Bojangles’

R7

Automotive

Penske Automotive

M1

Sonic Automotive

M2

Lithia Motors

M3

Group 1 Automotive

M4

Higher-rated

stores

Asbury Automotive

M5

Department Stores

Less vulnerable

to economic

conditions

but face major

ongoing difficulties

Macy’s / Bloomingdale’s

D1

Burlington

D2

Dillard’s

D3

Moody’s: Ba1, Ba2, Ba3

S&P: BB

Specialty

Office Depot

Floor & Decor

S1

S4

Michael’s

Rent-A-Center

S2

S5

Zales / Jared / Kay Jewelers

Sally Beauty

S3

S6

Restaurants

Yum Brands owns

franchises for these chains

Outback Steakhouse

R1

KFC / Pizza Hut / Taco Bell

R2

Tim Hortons / Burger King / Popeyes

R3

Restaurant Brands

International

Apparel

The Gap / Old Navy / Banana Republic

A1

Foot Locker

A2

Levi’s / Dockers

A3

Hanes / Champion

A4

Under Armour

A5

Michael Kors / Versace / Jimmy Choo

A6

Tommy Hilfiger / Calvin Klein / Izod

A7

Carter's / OshKosh B’gosh

A8

Naturalizer / Sam Edelman

A9

Lee / Wrangler

A10

Wolverine Worldwide

A11

The Poor Credit Mall

Poor Credit

Companies in this faux mall are rated as speculative investments at Moody’s and S&P as of April 13. These stores are already in financial trouble, and may not be able to access government stimulus money. The stores with the worst ratings are closer to the top of the mall. Brands that are part of the same company, like the Gap and Old Navy, are included in the same storefront.

Store footprint is relative to

company revenue

More than

$20 billion

Steak ‘n Shake

defaulted

on debt

on April 1*

Less than

$1 billion

Lowest-rated stores

Near or in default,

they have a low

likelihood of recovering

Specialty

*Steak 'n Shake

performed a distressed

asset repurchase, which

S&P considers

"tantamount to default"

GNC

S1

Restaurants

Moody’s ratings: Ca, CC

Steak ‘n Shake

S&P ratings: CC, C, D

R1

Automotive

Neiman Marcus

filed for

bankrupcy

on May 8

Department Stores

J.C. Penney

D1

AutoNation

M1

Neiman Marcus

D2

Service King

M2

Belk

D3

Missed

interest

payments

on April 15

Low-rated stores

Poor-quality investment

ratings with a very

high credit risk

Apparel

J. Crew filed

for bankrupcy

on May 4

J. Jill

A1

Talbots

A2

Moody’s: Caa1, Caa2, Caa3

Same

company

J. Crew

A3

S&P: CCC

Ann Taylor / Loft / Justice

A4

Restaurants

GPS Hospitality Holding owns

franchises for these chains

Red Lobster

R1

Burger King / Popeyes / Pizza Hut

R2

Specialty

Qdoba

R3

Main Event

Guitar Center

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

S1

S5

R4

Petco

At Home

California Pizza Kitchen

S6

S2

R5

Bob’s Discount Furniture

Jo-Ann

Chuck E. Cheese

R6

S7

S3

Fogo de Chao

Party City

99 Cents Only Stores

R7

S4

S8

Specialty

Camping World

Bed Bath & Beyond

S5

S1

Bass Pro Shops

GameStop

S6

S2

Conn’s HomePlus

The Container Store

S7

S3

PetSmart

Spencer’s / Spirit Halloween

S4

S8

Medium-rated stores

Vulnerable to economic

difficulties but able to

meet financial commitments

Moody’s: B1, B2, B3

S&P: B

Apparel

Carrols Restaurant

Group owns franchises

for these chains

Victoria’s Secret / Bath & Body Works / Pink

A1

Restaurants

Abercrombie & Fitch / Abercrombie Kids / Hollister

A2

Men’s Wearhouse / Moores / JoS. A. Bank

A3

Burger King / Popeyes

R1

Anywear / Cherokee / Dickies

A4

Arby’s / Buffalo Wild Wings / Sonic

R2

Cole Haan

Maggiano’s Little Italy / Chili’s

A5

R3

Fossil

Applebees / Taco Bell / Panera

A6

R4

Lands’ End

Whataburger

A7

R5

Flynn

Restaurant

Group

Nine West

Taco Bell

Tacala LLC

A8

R6

Augusta Sportswear

Bojangles’

R7

A9

Automotive

Restaurants

Yum Brands owns

franchises for these chains

Outback Steakhouse

Penske Automotive

R1

M1

KFC / Pizza Hut / Taco Bell

Sonic Automotive

R2

M2

Tim Hortons / Burger King / Popeyes

Lithia Motors

R3

M3

Group 1 Automotive

M4

Restaurant Brands

International

Asbury Automotive

M5

Department Stores

Macy’s / Bloomingdale’s

D1

Higher-rated stores

Burlington

D2

Dillard’s

D3

Less vulnerable to economic

conditions but face major

ongoing difficulties

Moody’s: Ba1, Ba2, Ba3

S&P: BB

Apparel

The Gap / Old Navy / Banana Republic

A1

Foot Locker

A2

Levi’s / Dockers

A3

Hanes / Champion

A4

Specialty

Under Armour

A5

Michael Kors / Versace / Jimmy Choo

Office Depot

A6

S1

Tommy Hilfiger / Calvin Klein / Izod

Michael’s

A7

S2

Carter's / OshKosh B’gosh

Zales / Jared / Kay Jewelers

A8

S3

Naturalizer / Sam Edelman

Floor & Decor

A9

S4

Lee / Wrangler

Rent-A-Center

A10

S5

Wolverine Worldwide

Sally Beauty

A11

S6

The Poor Credit Mall

Poor Credit

Companies in this faux mall are rated as speculative investments at Moody’s and S&P as of April 13. These stores are already in financial trouble, and may not be able to access government stimulus money. The stores with the worst ratings are closer to the top of the mall. Brands that are part of the same company, like the Gap and Old Navy, are included in the same storefront.

Store footprint is relative to

company revenue

Steak ‘n Shake

defaulted

on debt

on April 1*

Lowest-rated stores

More than

$20 billion

Less than

$1 billion

Specialty

GNC

S1

Near or in default, they have

a low likelihood of recovering

Restaurants

Moody’s ratings: Ca, CC

Steak ‘n Shake

S&P ratings: CC, C, D

R1

*Steak 'n Shake performed a distressed asset repurchase,

which S&P considers "tantamount to default"

Restaurants

Department Stores

GPS Hospitality Holding owns

franchises for these chains

Red Lobster

J.C. Penney

R1

D1

Burger King / Popeyes / Pizza Hut

Neiman Marcus

R2

D2

Qdoba

Belk

R3

D3

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

R4

Neiman Marcus

filed for

bankrupcy

on May 8

California Pizza Kitchen

R5

Chuck E. Cheese

R6

Fogo de Chao

R7

Low-rated stores

Missed

interest

payments

on April 15

Poor-quality investment ratings

with a very high credit risk

Moody’s: Caa1, Caa2, Caa3

S&P: CCC

J. Crew

filed for

bankrupcy

on May 4

Apparel

Specialty

Main Event

Guitar Center

J. Jill

S1

S5

A1

Automotive

Talbots

Petco

At Home

A2

S2

S6

Same

company

Bob’s Discount Furniture

AutoNation

J. Crew

Jo-Ann

M1

S7

A3

S3

Ann Taylor / Loft / Justice

Service King

Party City

99 Cents Only Stores

M2

A4

S4

S8

Specialty

Camping World

Bed Bath & Beyond

S5

S1

Bass Pro Shops

GameStop

S6

S2

Conn’s HomePlus

The Container Store

S7

S3

PetSmart

Spencer’s / Spirit Halloween

S4

S8

Medium-rated stores

Vulnerable to economic difficulties but

able to meet financial commitments

Moody’s: B1, B2, B3

S&P: B

Apparel

Carrols Restaurant

Group owns franchises

for these chains

Victoria’s Secret / Bath & Body Works / Pink

A1

Restaurants

Abercrombie & Fitch / Abercrombie Kids / Hollister

A2

Men’s Wearhouse / Moores / JoS. A. Bank

A3

Burger King / Popeyes

R1

Anywear / Cherokee / Dickies

A4

Arby’s / Buffalo Wild Wings / Sonic

R2

Cole Haan

A5

Maggiano’s Little Italy / Chili’s

R3

Fossil

A6

Applebees / Taco Bell / Panera

R4

Lands’ End

Whataburger

A7

R5

Flynn

Restaurant

Group

Nine West

Taco Bell

A8

Tacala LLC

R6

Augusta Sportswear

Bojangles’

A9

R7

Automotive

Restaurants

Yum Brands owns

franchises for these chains

Penske Automotive

Outback Steakhouse

M1

R1

KFC / Pizza Hut / Taco Bell

Sonic Automotive

R2

M2

Tim Hortons / Burger King / Popeyes

Lithia Motors

R3

M3

Group 1 Automotive

M4

Restaurant Brands

International

Asbury Automotive

M5

Department Stores

Macy’s / Bloomingdale’s

D1

Burlington

D2

Higher-rated stores

Dillard’s

D3

Less vulnerable to economic conditions

but face major ongoing difficulties

Moody’s: Ba1, Ba2, Ba3

S&P: BB

Apparel

The Gap / Old Navy / Banana Republic

A1

Foot Locker

A2

Levi’s / Dockers

A3

Hanes / Champion

Specialty

A4

Under Armour

A5

Michael Kors / Versace / Jimmy Choo

Office Depot

A6

S1

Tommy Hilfiger / Calvin Klein / Izod

Michael’s

A7

S2

Carter's / OshKosh B’gosh

Zales / Jared / Kay Jewelers

A8

S3

Naturalizer / Sam Edelman

Floor & Decor

A9

S4

Lee / Wrangler

Rent-A-Center

A10

S5

Wolverine Worldwide

Sally Beauty

A11

S6

The Poor Credit Mall

Poor Credit

Companies in this faux mall are rated as speculative investments at Moodys and S&P as of April 13. These stores are already in financial trouble, and may not be able to access government stimulus money. The stores with the worst ratings are closer to the top of the mall. Brands that are part of the same company, like the Gap and Old Navy, are included in the same storefront.

Store footprint is relative to

company revenue

More than

$20 billion

Less than

$1 billion

Steak ‘n Shake

defaulted

on debt

on April 1*

Specialty

Lowest-rated stores

GNC

S1

Near or in default, they have

a low likelihood of recovering

Restaurants

Steak ‘n Shake

R1

Moody’s ratings: Ca, CC

S&P ratings: CC, C, D

*Steak 'n Shake performed a distressed asset repurchase,

which S&P considers "tantamount to default"

Restaurants

Department Stores

GPS Hospitality Holding owns

franchises for these chains

Neiman Marcus filed

for bankrupcy

on May 8

Red Lobster

J.C. Penney

R1

D1

Burger King / Popeyes / Pizza Hut

Neiman Marcus

R2

D2

Qdoba

Belk

R3

D3

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

R4

California Pizza Kitchen

R5

Chuck E. Cheese

R6

Fogo de Chao

R7

Missed interest

payments on April 15

Low-rated stores

Automotive

AutoNation

M1

Poor-quality investment ratings

with a very high credit risk

Service King

M2

J. Crew filed for

bankrupcy on May 4

Moody’s: Caa1, Caa2, Caa3

Apparel

S&P: CCC

Specialty

J. Jill

A1

Main Event

Party City

Talbots

S1

S4

A2

Same

company

Petco

Guitar Center

Bob’s Discount Furniture

J. Crew

S2

S7

S5

A3

Jo-Ann

Ann Taylor / Loft / Justice

At Home

99 Cents Only Stores

S3

A4

S6

S8

Apparel

Specialty

Camping World

Bed Bath & Beyond

S5

S1

Victoria’s Secret / Bath & Body Works / Pink

A1

Bass Pro Shops

GameStop

S6

S2

Abercrombie & Fitch / Abercrombie Kids / Hollister

A2

Conn’s HomePlus

The Container Store

S7

Men’s Wearhouse / Moores / JoS. A. Bank

S3

A3

PetSmart

Spencer’s / Spirit Halloween

Anywear / Cherokee / Dickies

S4

S8

A4

Cole Haan

A5

Fossil

A6

Lands’ End

A7

Nine West

A8

Medium-rated stores

Augusta Sportswear

A9

Vulnerable to economic difficulties

but able to meet financial commitments

Moody’s: B1, B2, B3

S&P: B

Carrols Restaurant Group owns

franchises for these chains

Restaurants

Burger King / Popeyes

R1

Arby’s / Buffalo Wild Wings / Sonic

Whataburger

R2

R5

Taco Bell

Maggiano’s Little Italy / Chili’s

Tacala LLC

R6

R3

Bojangles’

Applebees / Taco Bell / Panera

R7

R4

Flynn Restaurant Group

Automotive

Department Stores

Restaurants

Yum Brands owns

franchises for these chains

Penske Automotive

Outback Steakhouse

Macy’s / Bloomingdale’s

M1

R1

D1

KFC / Pizza Hut / Taco Bell

Burlington

Sonic Automotive

R2

D2

M2

Tim Hortons / Burger King / Popeyes

Dillard’s

Lithia Motors

R3

D3

M3

Group 1 Automotive

M4

Restaurant Brands

International

Asbury Automotive

M5

Higher-rated stores

Less vulnerable to economic conditions

but face major ongoing difficulties

Moody’s: Ba1, Ba2, Ba3

S&P: BB

Apparel

The Gap / Old Navy / Banana Republic

A1

Foot Locker

A2

Levi’s / Dockers

A3

Hanes / Champion

Specialty

A4

Under Armour

A5

Michael Kors / Versace / Jimmy Choo

Office Depot

A6

S1

Tommy Hilfiger / Calvin Klein / Izod

Michael’s

A7

S2

Carter’s / OshKosh B’gosh

Zales / Jared / Kay Jewelers

A8

S3

Naturalizer / Sam Edelman

Floor & Decor

A9

S4

Lee / Wrangler

Rent-A-Center

A10

S5

Wolverine Worldwide

Sally Beauty

A11

S6

“The question becomes how strong you were going into the crisis,” said Mickey Chadha, a senior credit officer at Moody’s. “A lot of retailers that were already weak are going to come out of this even weaker, if they come out at all.”

In recent weeks, S&P Global has downgraded 50 of the 125 retailers and restaurants it tracks, including Jo-Ann Stores and Party City.

“The traditional retail sector has been distressed for many years, and now this intense shock is pushing more companies to the brink,” Sarah Wyeth, sector lead for retail and restaurants at S&P Global. The proportion of retailers the company considers “distressed” has risen from 15 percent to about 30 percent since the pandemic began, she said.

U.S. department store revenue

in March 2020 dollars

$30.3B March 1999

$30B

20B

10B

$8.8B

March

2020

0

1992

2000

2020

The most vulnerable companies, Chadha said, tend to have two things in common: large swaths of debt and little cash. Many, like Neiman Marcus and J. Crew, have struggled for years to pay back billions of dollars from leveraged buyouts.

Another at-risk category: mall-based department stores like Macy’s, Belk and J.C. Penney, which are losing customers to online retailers and direct-to-consumer brands. Neiman Marcus filed for bankruptcy Thursday, following in the footsteps of Sears and Barneys New York. J.C. Penney this week failed to pay a $17 million interest payment on its debt, while Nordstrom announced plans to permanently close 14 percent of its namesake department stores.

“Retailers have furloughed employees. They’re taking salary cuts. A lot of them have stopped paying rent, but it’s still not enough,” Chadha said. “Stores are shut, so there is zero revenue coming in. And they’re burning through cash."

He added that even department store chains with relatively stable balance sheets and credit ratings, like Nordstrom and Kohl’s, are facing “extreme pressure.” Their fates, he said, may depend on exactly how long the pandemic lasts.

Stores with low credit ratings where foot traffic has taken a hit

Change in traffic observed by SafeGraph

from Sunday, March 1, to Saturday, April 18

99 Cents Only Stores

368 STORES IN DATA

Belk

275 STORES

+50%

+50%

–17%

0

0

–87%

−100%

−100%

GNC

3,200 STORES

J.Crew

258 STORES

+50%

+50%

0

0

–52%

–97%

−100%

−100%

Jo-Ann Fabric

and Craft Stores

859 STORES

J.C. Penney

836 STORES

+50%

+50%

0

0

–30%

–93%

−100%

−100%

Petco

1,413 STORES

Neiman Marcus

59 STORES

+50%

+50%

0

0

–35%

–97%

−100%

−100%

Stores with low credit ratings where

foot traffic has taken a hit

Change in traffic observed by SafeGraph

from Sunday, March 1, to Saturday, April 18

GNC

3,200 STORES

99 Cents Only Stores

368 STORES IN DATA

Belk

275 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

–17%

0

0

–52%

–87%

−100%

−100%

−100%

J.C. Penney

836 STORES

Guitar Center

295 STORES

J.Crew

258 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

–72%

–93%

–97%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Jo-Ann Fabric

and Craft Stores

859 STORES

Loft

349 STORES

Neiman Marcus

59 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

–30%

–89%

–97%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Talbots

288 STORES

Party City

854 STORES

Petco

1,413 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

–35%

–72%

–74%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Stores with low credit ratings where foot traffic has taken a hit

Change in traffic observed by SafeGraph from Sunday, March 1, to Saturday, April 18

99 Cents Only Stores

368 STORES IN DATA

At Home

205 STORES

Belk

275 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

–17%

0

0

0

–81%

–87%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Bob’s Discount Furniture

123 STORES

GNC

3,200 STORES

Guitar Center

295 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

–52%

–72%

–82%

−100%

−100%

−100%

J.C. Penney

836 STORES

J.Crew

258 STORES

J.Jill

154 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

–85%

–93%

–97%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Jo-Ann Fabric

and Craft Stores

859 STORES

Loft

349 STORES

Neiman Marcus

59 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

–30%

–89%

–97%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Party City

854 STORES

Petco

1,413 STORES

Talbots

288 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

–35%

–72%

–74%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Stores with low credit ratings where foot traffic has taken a hit

Change in traffic observed by SafeGraph from Sunday, March 1, to Saturday, April 18

99 Cents Only Stores

368 STORES IN DATA

At Home

205 STORES

Belk

275 STORES

Bob’s Discount Furniture

123 STORES

GNC

3,200 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

–17%

0

0

0

0

0

–52%

–81%

–82%

–87%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Jo-Ann Fabric

and Craft Stores

859 STORES

J.C. Penney

836 STORES

Guitar Center

295 STORES

J.Crew

258 STORES

J.Jill

154 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

0

0

–30%

–72%

–85%

–93%

–97%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Loft

349 STORES

Neiman Marcus

59 STORES

Party City

854 STORES

Petco

1,413 STORES

Talbots

288 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

0

0

–35%

–72%

–89%

–97%

–74%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Stores with low credit ratings where foot traffic has taken a hit

Change in traffic observed by SafeGraph from Sunday, March 1, to Saturday, April 18

99 Cents Only Stores

368 STORES IN DATA

At Home

205 STORES

Belk

275 STORES

Bob’s Discount Furniture

123 STORES

GNC

3,200 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

–17%

0

0

0

0

0

–52%

–81%

–82%

–87%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Jo-Ann Fabric

and Craft Stores

859 STORES

Guitar Center

295 STORES

J.Crew

258 STORES

J.Jill

154 STORES

J.C. Penney

836 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

0

0

–30%

–72%

–85%

–93%

–97%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

Loft

349 STORES

Neiman Marcus

59 STORES

Party City

854 STORES

Petco

1,413 STORES

Talbots

288 STORES

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

+50%

0

0

0

0

0

–35%

–72%

–89%

–97%

–74%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

−100%

The Gap last month warned that it could run out of cash to cover routine costs. The company, which also owns Banana Republic and Old Navy, didn’t pay rent in April and said it is talking to landlords about permanently closing some of its stores.

The newest challenges come on top of years of bankruptcies and store closures that have gutted some of the nation’s best known retailers, including Toys R Us and Sears. More than a dozen national brands including Gymboree and Payless ShoeSource filed for bankruptcy last year, fueling thousands of store closures. The Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese imports have taken a toll too, costing retailers about 300,000 jobs, according to Moody’s Analytics.

Now analysts say the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 75,000 Americans could change the face of the retail industry, which employs 29 million and supports 1 in 4 U.S. jobs, according to the National Retail Federation. It could be years, analysts say, before consumers feel comfortable walking into a shopping mall again.

“From a big-picture standpoint, it’s obvious that the pandemic is not going to leave any retailer unscathed,” said Chadha.

Lenny Bronner and Reuben Fischer-Baum contributed to this report.

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About this story

Retail sales data come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s advance monthly retail trade report. Historical numbers are adjusted for inflation to March 2020 dollars.

Credit rating data was provided by S&P and Moody’s. Not all retailers they rated are included in the graphic. If the two agencies gave significantly different ratings for a company the higher rating was used, unless that rating had a negative outlook attached. Revenue data for public companies was taken from SEC annual reports. Totals are from the 2019 fiscal year, except for 99 Cents Only Stores, which is from the 2017 fiscal year. Revenue data for nonpublic companies was collected from Moody’s reports and Forbes.com.

Foot-traffic data was provided by SafeGraph, a company that aggregates location data from tens of millions of devices and compares it with building footprints. The number of mobile devices recorded fluctuates, so the visits data is normalized according to how many devices were reported each day. The stores total represents the number of stores the show up in the data, not the total number of stores operating.