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Retail carnage – no end in sight

Traditional retailers continue to accelerate their e-commerce efforts to survive – and even thrive. Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Lowes reported surging online sales for their most recent quarters. Others, who haven’t been able to adapt, are struggling mightily.

  • Century 21 Stores filed for bankruptcy Thursday with plans to shut down. The retailer will hold going out of business sales at its 13 stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida, according to a company statement. The company listed assets and liabilities of as much as $500 million each in its bankruptcy petition. (Bloomberg)
  • Starwood Capital Group has lost control of seven malls after a recent debt default, surrendering properties the firm acquired for $1.6 billion seven years ago. The loss of the malls is related to bonds Starwood issued in Israel and defaulted on during the spring. When a local ratings firm downgraded the debt earlier this year, it triggered an accelerated payment clause that also enabled the bondholders to seize control of the assets. (WSJ)
  • It was meant to be a grand reopening, heralding the return of the gleaming, seven-story shopping hub at the heart of Manhattan’s newest, big-money real estate development. Yet on Wednesday at 11 a.m., after six interminable months, the doors of Hudson Yards mall opened to little fanfare and even fewer shoppers. While most stores were open, foot traffic was scant during the opening hours. Zara and H&M remained closed as workers inside spent the day unfurling clothes from crates and hanging them on racks. At Dylan’s Candy Bar, the iconic rows of self-serve candy were empty. Neiman Marcus, the mall’s anchor tenant, offered closeout sales of 50% to 70% on what little inventory it had on hand, a stark reminder of the retailer’s bankruptcy just 14 months after opening for the first time in New York City. (Bloomberg)
  • The owners of boutique exercise studios filed suit against the mayor and the city over restrictions barring them from reopening along with the rest of the Big Apple’s gyms last week.While gyms were given the OK to reopen last week with some restrictions, city health officials have deemed group work-out classes such as yoga or pilates to have a higher risk of spreading COVID-19. (NYPost)
  • Maison Kayser has laid off 708 employees in New York City, according to a Sept. 4 filing with the Department of Labor. In July, it was reported that the chain would exit the New York market by closing 15 locations in Manhattan and one in Downtown Brooklyn, but the bakery disputed the report at the time. (TRD)

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