With the COVID-19 pandemic, malls may look a lot different in the next few months to a year. Some major brands may disappear, while others are being watched carefully if they head towards bankruptcy as well.

JC Penny, Stage stores, J. Crew, and Neiman Marcus are the most iconic brands that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Research firm Coresight Research says 2020 started as a good year for the retail landscape.

“We came into this year with a very strong consumer, with very low unemployment… with a stock market that was appreciating. The backdrop to a good retail environment was strong,” says Marie Driscoll, CFA, managing director of luxury and fashion at Coresight Research.

The pandemic began a few months, but Driscoll says many retailers have already been struggling due to the shift to online shopping. The virus only posed an additional challenge.

“The options the consumer has had has driven down prices and increased costs for retailers as they entered this year. It’s been happening since 2009,” Driscoll says.

These major brands have filed for bankruptcy:

  • J. Crew
  • Neiman Marcus
  • JC Penny
  • Gold’s Gym
  • True Religion Apparel

These other companies are being watched carefully:

  • Lord & Taylor (according to Reuters)
  • Sur La Table (according to Bloomberg)
  • Hertz (according to Reuters)

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