Bankruptcies are just going to happen more and more because of this global shutdown, and every one of them hurts. Plenty of Mom & Pop places and other small businesses can't remain open, and even larger companies will take some nasty hits too. And while bankruptcy isn't necessarily the end of a business, it rings some alarm bells. Let's take a look at some of the companies for whom the bell tolls.
Pier 1 Imports
Pier 1 Imports is essentially where your mom bought most of her confusing interior design and seasonal houseware pieces. Is it a chair? Is it a coatrack? An effigy of Pieros, the God of Cul de sacs? Who knows.
Now? They're closing all their storefronts.
This was to be expected because even before the virus, they had some big ol' "Going Out Of Business!" clearance sales that finally put their prices on about the same level as Craigslist. They know their target demo was baby boomers, and it's just not the same trying to sell to them anymore, especially in the wake of this pandemic.
This is a company that survived the Great Depression and World War II but hasn't been able to survive the internet. The company claims it was well on its way to recovering until the coronavirus hit, and it's gonna force them to sell off much of their storefront space as well. They'll follow J Crew and Neiman Marcus in this process but plan to stay open as long as they can.
JCPenney really is an American icon, and it's going to be really hard to explain certain elements of major Christmas movies to our kids without the existence of major department stores. A Jingle All The Way remake is going to have to have John Cena and Kevin Hart flaming each other over a Turbo-Man eBay auction.
This one was a bit of a reality check for the airline industry -- sure, a bunch of little regional airlines were expected to be in trouble, but Virgin was a big name to feel scared about. Billionaire founder, Richard Branson, even put his private island up as collateral in hopes of staving off bankruptcy (Sidenote: Owning a private island is a sign that you should have taken a pay cut regardless of pandemic circumstances.). Nevertheless, they're now in the Australian version of Chapter 11, and things aren't boding well for the rest of the airline industry.
In addition to these, we're seeing a ton of businesses (and entire industries) getting absolutely shook. "Professional" AirBnB hosts are finally realizing that their entire business model is hot trash. What a stunner. Norwegian Cruise Line dodged bankruptcy by the skin of its teeth and now has enough cash on hand to survive 12 months without launching a single cruise (all while tons and tons of workers are stranded at sea).
We aren't out of the woods yet here, and while it might be easy for some to brush off businesses like this as "non-essential," well, who knows what's next?
Top Image: JCPenney