All US Retail Chapter 11 Bankruptcies and Going Out of Business Sales

More Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Reorganizations End Famous Retail, Restaurant Brands

All US Retail Chapter 11 Bankruptcies and Going Out of Business Sales
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Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in the U.S. retail industry aren't as rare they as in other industries due to the inherently volatile nature of retailing and restauranteering.  But since the Great Recession, the pace of Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings by U.S. retailing companies has accelerated, and the number of retail companies that end up hosting Going Out of Business sales after their Chapter 11 filings has increased.


RELATED: 2015 Retail Industry Bankruptcies Photo Gallery >>

This out-of-business conclusion to the Chapter 11 story has been particularly shocking with some of the largest U.S. retail companies which were once considered to be "too big to fail."  Borders, Circuit City, GM and RadioShack are examples of these too-big-to-fail companies which have found themselves in Chapter 11 bankruptcy court in recent years. These retail giants are also great examples of the three primary paths that lead out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection:

  • Refinancing, reorganization, and forgiveness of debt which allows the company to continue ongoing retail operations
  • Partial or complete company buyout, which results in continued operations, but may cause the death of a retail brand
  • Going out of business sales and complete company dissolution of the retail brand and its operations

Chapter 11 is intended to be a "reorganization" remedy for businesses, which means that the retailing and restaurant companies that file Chapter 11 are not necessarily "bankrupt." What it does mean is that these retail and restaurant companies with Chapter 11 filings need a court-protected grace period in order to reorganize and restructure certain aspects of their business and return to profitability.

Chapter 11 is the pause button that some retail businesses need before so that they can reboot and return to profitability.

Unfortunately, trend in recent U.S. retail history has been for Chapter 11 filings to be the beginning of the final chapter for most retail and restaurant chains that have no other options.

 Rather than admitting complete defeat and filing Chapter 7 full bankruptcy papers, optimistic, perseverant and stubborn leaders choose a Hail Mary Chapter 11 Hail Mary as their last effort to keep their company alive.  As in all games, the Hail Mary pass is a thrilling demonstration of full out effort to the end, but more often than not is, in fact, the end.

What follows is a complete historical timeline of the major U.S. retail industry companies that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection which resulted in going out of business liquidation sales, the closing of all retail operations, and the end of their retail brand.  

BOOKMARK THIS PAGE for ongoing updates as Chapter 11 bankruptcies are filed.  This list was last updated on October 31, 2015. 

All U.S. Retail Chapter 11 Bankruptcies Resulting in Going Out of Business Liquidation Sales 2008 - 2015:

2015 Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) Chapter 11 Filing

  • After 156 years in business, one of the oldest U.S. retail chains still in business filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July, 2015.

2015 Cache Chapter 11 Filing and Liquidation

2009 Fortunoff Chapter 11 Filing and Store Liquidations

  • Filed Chapter 11 on February 4, 2008
  • Business was sold to an affiliate of NRDC Equity Partners (NRDC also had a major ownership in bankrupt Linens 'n Things)
  • Filed Chapter 11 on February 5, 2009
  • Liquidation of of 20 stores in four states began February 26, 2009

2009 Goody's Second Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Ends in Final Store Closings

  • Filed Chapter 11 on June 9, 2008
  • Emerged from Chapter 11 on October 20, 2008
  • Began liquidation of 218 stores on January 9, 2009

2009 Gottschalks Chapter 11 Is Largest Privately Owned Department Store Chain Liquidation

  • Filed Chapter 11 on January 14, 2009
  • Sought to sell the business or secure third party investors for financing
  • Was auctioned to liquidation company, Great American Group
  • Liquidation of $280 million of inventory in 58 stroes began April 3, 2009
  • 13 retail spaces sold to Forever 21 on June 10, 2009

2009 El Paso Bar-B-Que Chapter 11 Smokes the Arizona Restaurant Chain

  • Filed Chapter 11 January 23, 2009
  • Closed one restaurant and continued to operate 7 locations
  • Eventually closed all the remaining 7 restaurant locations

2008 Whitehall Jewelers Liquidates More than 373 Jewelry Stores

  • Filed Chapter 11 on June 23, 2008
  • Began liquidation of stores on August 13, 2008 at 373 stores

2008 Sam Seltzer’s Steakhouses of America Don't Survive the Great Recession 

2008 Shells Seafood Restaurants Bankruptcy and Restaurant Chain Liquidation

  • Filed for Chapter 11 on September 3, 2008
  • Converted to Chapter 7 bankruptcy on September 24, 2008

2008 Circuit City Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Is a Massive Fortune 500 Liquidation

  • Filed Chapter 11 on November 10, 2008
  • Began liquidation of 567 stores on January 19, 2009

2008 Chapter 11 Digial Dissolution

  • Filed chapter 11 on December 4, 2008
  • Sold at auction on January 16, 2009 to Inc. for $1.63 million
  • now automatically redirects customers to

2008 Christian Bernard Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Closes Retail Stores, Not Retail Brand 

  • Filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy December 26, 2008
  • Closed 15 stores on December 26th, and re-opened the stores on January 20, 2009 for liquidation sales.

2008 Kira Plastinina Goes Out of Business Less Than One Year In Business

  • Filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on December 31, 2008
  • 12 stores operated in the U.S. for just seven months
  • The company had assets of $9.7 million against debt of $54.4 million. The U.S. bankruptcy did not affect the 70 Plastinina stores in Russia.

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