300+ Bankrupt Retailers
Online shopping has impacted the fortunes of many businesses, including such fashion stalwarts as Southern California-based clothing retailers American Apparel, Pacific Sunwear of California, Nasty Gal, Wet Seal, and most recently True Religion.
According to BankruptcyData.com, as of mid-June, more than 300 retailers have filed for bankruptcy in 2017. That’s up 31 percent from the same time last year. Pressure from online retailers is the primary factor, but the impact is compounded by weak merchandise, dull in-store display (i.e., not providing a compelling reason to visit the expensively leased storefronts) and – in some cases – not offering a compelling story to the consumer. For brands at an aspirational price point, it's imperative to offer an exciting or meaningful story that pulls the consumer awat from the fast fashion hits such as Zara and H&M.
True Religion, the most recent brand to file, also closed 20 of its 140 stores last year. This move away from brick-and-mortar is part of a Jenga effect on the overall health of malls. Forecasts predict that more than 400 of the nation's 1100 malls will close in the next few years.
More information is available at LA Times, in an article dated July 5, 2017: Pricey jeans maker True Religion files for bankruptcy protection.