2020 Depression: Retail and Travel Services Getting Crushed

News from just the last 3 days is showing just how grim things are for retail establishments. Below is a list of places I've read about filing for bankruptcy or closing outright. There are undoubtedly others. I imagine you're probably familiar with some of these places:

--Bed, Bath, & Beyond announced it is closing 200 of its 955 stores nationwide.

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--Levi's is permanently laying off 700 of its employees in its San Francisco location.

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--Odwalla brand juices in Berkeley is closing permanently (300 employees).

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--Dunkin' Donuts will close 450 retail stores by the end of 2020.

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--Brooks Brothers suits is declaring bankruptcy and closing 51 of its 200 stores nationwide. Brooks Brothers has clothed 40 US Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.

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--Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant is closing 1,200 stores across the country.

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--Sur La Table declares bankruptcy and will close 56 of its 112 stores. It has also laid off 27 (one-fifth) of its corporate staff without severance pay.

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--United Airlines has warned it will lay off 36,000 employees after October 1, unless the situation improves.

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Just this past 3 days, folks . . . Can we officially call it a depression already?!? This is crazy . . .

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I'm not familiar with the background on all the names on your list, but the companies I have looked into it's not just COVID-19 which is creating an issue. Or rather, the situations were precarious enough that if it hadn't been COVID-19, it would have been something else. Just last night I was watching a video about the troubles GNC is having. They had a leveraged buyout a few years ago and even without the malls being closed, they'd been struggling since then. COVID just pushed themover the edge.

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@Dr. John Carpenter

Plenty of retailers before that have been declaring bankruptcy or closing outright.

Besides GNC, which you mention, let's not forget JC Penney, Neiman Marcus, J Crew, and the list goes on and on . . .

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8 users have voted.

Airbnb host for the past 4 yrs, and obviously that is one company which has been badly affected. They recently announced they were laying off 1/4 of their workforce. Obviously this continues to be a dicey time to be traveling casually, so except for one brief-stay guest booked months ago, I have accepted no guests and have had to put my listings on pause for the foreseeable future. It was pretty good extra income achieved with fairly minimal effort, but I'll now need to arrange eventually for a Plan B income stream.

I don't know what will happen to Airbnb as meanwhile it continues to gently encourage me to open my listings for bookings. No dice on that. Too risky obviously. You don't know who you are getting as guests, and I was never happy getting the 40% who were hardcore Republicans or Trumpistas. Just as rigid-minded and not susceptible to reason as you would imagine. But dealing with that set of annoyances seems quaint now.

As for restaurants, they do have the potential ability to be flexible (tearing down one wall) wrt opening up their places to more outdoor seating going forward, if only local gov'ts would be helpful in providing easy low-cost loans to do so as well as easy permitting. Otherwise that industry, partly dependent on easy travel, will suffer greatly as word continues to get out about the dangers of breathing indoor recirculated air.

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WaterLily's picture

::GASP:: Shareholder-driven capitalism is a failing experiment!

I feel for the rank-and-file employees of these companies. As for the companies themselves, tough shit.

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14 users have voted.

companies are just pieces of paper, so tough shit for a legal document? Just like everything else we believe in (god, whatever religion one follows) its all just made up.

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snoopydawg's picture

They have been being bought out and of course loaded with debt so the new owners could strip all assets such as pensions from them and of course paying their CEOs large bonuses. Gjohnsit has been showing how flimsy the economy has been for awhile now. Just like the banks and Boeing were on thin financial ice so were many other businesses.

Hertz is also declaring bankruptcy and blaming it on COVID but they were in trouble before it arrived. It should be criminal for companies to do that, but of course they got the rules changed in their favor.

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6 users have voted.

"It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process."

Hillary: "I'd be president today if Comey, Bernie, Bros and Putin hadn't stolen it from me."

Sad to see local businesses never coming back. Where the employees go is a mystery. Pretty sure riot and looting damaged ones are not coming back. Who would ever give them any sort of insurance.

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