They're everywhere: Signs indicating that retailers are "going out of business" or holding "everything must go," "store closing" sales. Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, many businesses are seeking bankruptcy protection or, worse, closing their doors permanently.
Take Fort Worth, Texas-based Pier One Imports, which sought bankruptcy protection in February 2020, failed to find a buyer, and has since taken steps to shutter its brick-and-mortar operations.
But make no mistake: Retailers aren't the only types of businesses that have gone bankrupt in recent months. Here's just a small sampling of what COVID-19 has done to a range of industries.
The family-friendly restaurant chain filed for Chapter 11 in November 2020, citing COVID as a big factor.
"Nearly all of Friendly's 130 corporate-owned and franchised restaurant locations are expected to remain open subject to COVID-19 limitations," the restaurant's parent company, FIC, said in a statement, "and the transaction is expected to preserve thousands of corporate-owned restaurant team member and franchisee jobs."
The restaurant known for its salad bar sought bankruptcy protection in September 2020.
"Our current financial state is a direct consequence of the pandemic's economic impact due to long-term indoor dining closures and landlords' refusal to provide necessary rent abatement," Chris Perkins, Sizzler president and chief services officer, said in a statement.
Cirque du Soleil
Late June saw the grounding of the high-flying Cirque du Soleil, costing an estimated 3,500 performers and office workers their jobs.
Restaurant chain CEO Shawn Lederman drew a straight line between the COVID-19 pandemic and his company's October 2020 bankruptcy filing. IN court papers, he said, "The almost complete elimination of in-store dining, which historically has represented over 90% of the company's total sales, struck at the heart of the company's business model."
The venerable U.S. department store chain sought bankruptcy protection in May 2020.
In the days leading up to the filing, the company reportedly paid out nearly $10 million in bonuses to senior executives. The chain later defended the decision, saying it was taking steps to "retain our talented management team."
A major Pizza Hut franchisee
The family-style pizza chain operates in many countries via multiple franchisees. In July 2020, In July 2020, the chain's largest franchisee, NPC International, which has more than 1,200 locations, filed for Chapter 11 protection and planned to close up to 300 shops.
24 Hour Fitness
The California-based gym chain filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2020, spurred largely by forced closures amid the pandemic.
The founder and CEO of the chain may also be feeling the pain: Mark Mastrov is reportedly selling his northern California mansion for $13.5 million.
Remington Arms Co.
Sales of guns have reportedly spiked in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn't keep gun manufacturer Remington Arms Co. from seeking bankruptcy in July 2020. The company is facing a hefty lawsuit from the families of Sandy Hook school shooting victims that goes to trial in 2021, and has also seen some restrictions in sales in the wake of several high-profile mass shootings.
Sur La Table
The privately held Seattle-based cookware company filed for bankruptcy in July 2020, saying it would shutter 56 of its 121 stores.
After filing for bankruptcy in May 2020, executives at the top of the luxury department store chain sought $10 million in pay raises.
The shoe store chain sought bankruptcy in May 2020.
California Pizza Kitchen
The New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group sought bankruptcy protection in late July 2020. The company owns, among other brands, Ann Taylor and Loft.
Ascena Retail Group also owns sister retailer Lane Bryant.
After filing for bankruptcy in July 2020, the denim seller announced a sale to another company, known as Sparc, for $140.1 million.
The clothing retailer announced its bankruptcy in May 2020.
Unlike some other bankrupt retailers, Brooks Brothers has, at the moment, staved off a total shutdown. In August 2020, the company announced it would be purchased for $325 million by a partnership between licensing company Authentic Brands Group and mall owner Simon Property Group.
The airline filed for bankruptcy for its American operations in July 2020. Under its restructuring plan, it announced it would continue to fly.
The American branch of this beloved Japanese retailer filed for protection from creditors in July 2020. It said it would close some stores.
The Thai budget carrier filed for bankruptcy protection in late July 2020. It also announced hopes for a rehabilitation plan.
Chuck E. Cheese
In late June 2020, the parent company of the family-friendly pizza mecca announced it had filed for bankruptcy protection after the coronavirus pandemic temporarily shuttered many of its eateries. It said it hoped to keep operating many of them as it reorganizes.
With global travel at a relative standstill, the car rental company sought bankruptcy in May 2020.
Le Pain Quotidien
This boarded-up eatery says it all: With fewer people eating out, bankrupt Le Pain Quotidien had to make a hard choice: Selling all 98 of its American locations for a mere $3 million.
With many cities forcing gyms to close, it's no surprise that more than one gym chain has filed for bankruptcy. Gold's Gym sought bankruptcy protection in May 2020. It closed 30 locations permanently but said it hoped to keep hundreds of others open.
Dean & DeLuca
The gourmet grocer sought protection from creditors in late March 2020, saying it hoped to restructure and reopen stores.
In June 2020, the supplements seller announced a bankruptcy, along with closure of as many as 1,374 stores.
Lord & Taylor
The story of this nearly 200-year-old retailer came to a sad end in the COVID-19 era. The already diminished department store chain filed for bankruptcy in August 2020 and announced it would permanently close its remaining 38 locations.
The aerospace company filed on May 13, though it offered assurances that it would not stop launching new satellites.
The Swedish fashion chain has gone the way of many other retailers, filing for bankruptcy in April 2020.
Modell's Sporting Goods
A New York staple since the turn of the 20th century, this chain sought bankruptcy protection in March 2020. It said it would close all of its 153 stores.
Say goodbye to this stationery store. The chain said in January 2020 that it would shutter all 254 of its retail locations and seek bankruptcy.
New York & Company
The parent company of this well-known fashion label filed for bankruptcy in July 2020, adding that it would likely close most, if not all, of its stores.
This publicly traded shale driller has said it plans to continue operations during its bankruptcy process, which started in April 2020. The company has since emerged from bankruptcy status.
The French digital media company, citing the pandemic, announced its bankruptcy in June 2020.
Another retailer, another bankruptcy — but this story may have a happier ending. The jeans-maker True Religion said in June 2020 that it had hopes for emerging from bankruptcy soon.
This Ohio glassware maker, known for supplying bars and eateries, sought bankruptcy protection in June 2020.
The Jacksonville, Florida-based discount chain said in August 2020 that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to permanently close most, if not all, of its stores. It laid partial blame on the change in shopping habits during the coronavirus pandemic.
The biggest operator of U.K. domestic flights had its wings clipped in March 2020. Some flights had returned to operation in September.
Casual Dining Group, owner of Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas, said it would cut more than 1,900 jobs and close 91 restaurants after filing for bankruptcy in July 2020.
The British "proper hamburger" chain fell into bankruptcy in late June 2020; it later closed more than half of its 51 outlets.
The British restaurant chain blamed coronavirus in its May 2020 filing.
The department-store chain filed for protection after being forced to close all of its locations in the wake of the pandemic.
Tailored Brands Inc.
The company is the parent of two well-known retailers, Jos A. Bank being one. After filing for bankruptcy in August 2020, the company cut 20% of its workforce and announced plans to close 500 stores.
The menswear chain is another subsidiary of Tailored Brands.
Fig & Olive
The trendy restaurant chain includes this location in West Hollywood, California, which is now permanently closed. The Mediterranean-style chain declared bankruptcy in July 2020, but recently announced plans to reopen other locations.