Retail Apocalypse: Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works To Close Hundreds Of Stores

Retail Apocalypse: Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works To Close Hundreds Of Stores

Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works are the latest retail chains to be impacted by the economic recession created by the spread of coronavirus.

Victoria’s Secret announced on Thursday that the company will close 250 stores in the U.S. and Canada and Bath & Body Works will be closing an additional 50 stores nationwide. L Brands is the parent company of both Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works and said in a statement that their sales declined 37% in Q2.

Earlier this week, Pier 1 Imports announced it would shutter all its remaining 540 stores and J.C. Penny is in the beginning stages of filing for bankruptcy as it continues closing stores nationwide.

Earlier this month, Neiman Marcus became the first American department store to file for bankruptcy protection during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dallas-based luxury retailer filed for Chapter 11 restructuring in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on Thursday. It plans to cede control to creditors in exchange for eliminating $4 billion of debt.

CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck says the company was not liquidating and would come out of bankruptcy “a stronger company with the ability to better serve you and continue our transformation over the long term.”

On May 4, clothing chain J.Crew filed for bankruptcy, becoming the first major retailer to fall victim to the pandemic’s economic fallout. The clothing retailer said it had reached a deal with its lenders to convert about $1.65 billion of debt into equity.

The coronavirus shutdown has hit Neiman Marcus so hard that the 112-year-old storied luxury department store chain is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

— CBSDFW (@CBSDFW) May 7, 2020

The filings come as many department and retail chain stores, already in a weakened state, are pushed into further peril by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lord & Taylor is preparing to liquidate its 38 department stores once restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus are lifted, Reuters reports citing people familiar with the matter.

The nearly 200-year-old department store chain is getting ready for a bankruptcy process from which it does not expect to emerge, the report continued, but is holding off the filing and liquidation until it can reopen its stores to sell off the merchandise.

And JCPenney, facing a crush debt load of $3.7 billion, disclosed on April 15 that it missed a debt payment and that it was looking at strategic options during the 30-day grace period to make that payment.