Mall operators collected only 15% of April rent …

retail sales

Tapestry Inc (TPR.N) Chief Executive Officer Jide Zeitlin has been negotiating lower rents for the company’s Coach and Kate Spade stores for more than a month, using the brands’ power to draw in U.S. mall traffic as leverage in tough talks with landlords.

The company, whose handbags have won it a place among the big names of the fashion world, is just one of a raft of major U.S. retailers seeking to lower rent bills to make sure they have enough cash to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

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J.C. Penney could close almost 200 stores. Here’s what to know about the rumored bankruptcy

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J.C. Penney is running low on pennies. The storied, 118-year-old department store is preparing to file for bankruptcy as early as next week, Reuters reported Friday.

The rumor mill has been churning on J. C. Penney’s impending collapse for weeks now, but this is the most detailed report to date from “people familiar with the matter.” The company plans to close 200 of its roughly 850 stores across the country, sources told Reuters. And while the company has not made a decision on restructuring, the report said it’s discussing an option to split into two separate entities—one that would own real estate and serve as a landlord to the other, which would operate retail.

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Nearly 50 million Americans had their credit card limits involuntarily cut in the past month

Roughly one out of every four Americans who hold a credit card — nearly 50 million people — saw their credit limits slashed or accounts involuntarily closed altogether by lenders over the past month, according to a new survey.

CompareCards, the Lending Tree site that conducted the survey, was so struck by the high numbers that it ran the survey a second time to be assured of the fallout to cash-strapped consumers hit with staggering unemployment due to the coronavirus crisis.

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Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, and True Religion are among the first US retailers to file for bankruptcy as the pandemic takes its toll. Here’s the full list so far.

The retail sector is currently facing one of its most challenging periods in history as stores and restaurants stay closed and the future of retail remains uncertain.

Many brick and mortar retailers and restaurants that were experiencing troubles heading into the crisis are now being forced to shutter locations or lay off workers in order to stay afloat as their business almost entirely dries up.

Others are left with no choice but to file for bankruptcy, and experts say we can expect to see many more follow in their lead as the pandemic continues to decimate the industry.

Here’s who has filed for bankruptcy so far:

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Lord & Taylor reportedly prepping to liquidate

Dive Brief:

  • When Lord & Taylor’s 38 stores reopen after pandemic-related restrictions ease, they may be running liquidation sales ahead of shuttering permanently. Reuters reported the news on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.
  • The department store, now owned by online apparel rental company Le Tote, is delaying a bankruptcy filing in order to make the most of such sales, but has been in touch with liquidators, according to the report. A company spokesperson declined to comment to Retail Dive on the news.
  • Hudson’s Bay Co., which last August sold Lord & Taylor to Le Tote for $100 million, held on to some real estate in that deal and may take advantage of a bankruptcy to reassume some leases, Reuters said.

Dive Insight:

The COVID-19 pandemic has been rough on consumer-facing businesses, and fragile retailers like Lord & Taylor are especially at risk.

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Neiman Marcus files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Neiman Marcus, the 112-year-old storied luxury department store chain, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the first department store chain to be toppled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The move, announced Thursday, follows the bankruptcy filing by J.Crew, which became the first major retailer to reorganize during the pandemic. Experts believe there will be more to come even as there are moves to reopen businesses in parts of the country like Texas and Florida.

“Prior to COVID-19, Neiman Marcus Group was making solid progress on our journey to long-term profitable and sustainable growth,” said Neiman Marcus Group CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck in a statement. “However, like most businesses today, we are facing unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has placed inexorable pressure on our business.”

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Halliburton lays off 1,000 workers at Houston headquarters

The employees are being let go from the company’s corporate headquarters in Houston.

Halliburton said the layoffs were necessary as it adjusts to less activity by its customers.

The company has taken a dramatic hit caused by COVID-19 and an “unprecedented commodity price decline.”

On April 29, Halliburton closed two of its Texas facilities. Some employees were given the option to relocate and others were offered the option to work remotely.

The Kilgore operations team was relocated to Halliburton’s Bossier City field camp facility. Employees at Halliburton’s Elmendorf facility in San Antonio were relocated to various locations in South Texas.
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Qatar Airways and Virgin Atlantic latest to announce thousands of job cuts

Photo Credit: Tomas Del Coro

State-owned Qatar Airways and Virgin Atlantic are the latest airlines to announce plans to cut large numbers of jobs due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic.

In a notice to staff Akbar al-Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways warned: “The truth is, we simply cannot sustain the current numbers and we need to make a substantial number of jobs redundant – inclusive of cabin crew.”

The airline employs 46,684 staff and is cutting costs along with rivals Etihad and Emirates who have both cut wages.

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Nordstrom permanently closing 16 full-line stores…

Photo Credit: Phillip Pessar

Nordstrom plans to permanently close 16 of its 116 full-line stores while moving toward a phased reopening of others, as it tailors its immediate future to the realities of retail in the coronavirus pandemic.

The Seattle-based company also said it will make changes to how its stores function in a “market-by-market” approach, and will move its big Anniversary Sale from July to August.

Shuttering one out of seven stores is not simply a response to the pandemic, said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.

“This coronavirus crisis is the catalyst rather than the cause,” he said. “Not all of its full-line stores pull their weight. … Some have probability that is dwindling. They’re saying, ‘Look, we don’t see a future in these stores, let’s cut our losses.’”

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