7 once-dominant retailers that are now on the verge of bankruptcy

Seven major retailers are at high risk of going bankrupt within the next two years, according to a Fitch Ratings report.

The at-risk companies include: Sears Holdings, Claire’s Stores, True Religion Apparel, Nine West Holdings, Rue21, 99 Cents Only Stores, and Nebraska Book Company.

If and when the companies named default, it’s likely that they will be liquidated, the 114-page report said.

Retailers are almost three times as likely to be liquidated after filing for bankruptcy than companies in other industries, according to the study

For the report, Fitch Ratings analysed 30 retail bankruptcies — half of which ended in liquidation.

In each case, researchers determined that the same key pressures were weighing on business: declining shopper traffic to malls; the rise of ecommerce; shifts in consumer spending away from apparel and accessories and more toward experiences like dining out and entertainment; and the rise of pricing competition from discount chains like dollar stores and Walmart.

“Most of the retailers at high risk of default are challenged by declining mall traffic, competition from online and other types of retailers, and/or a lack of a compelling product line,” researchers wrote. “Highly leveraged capital structures may become unsustainable in the face of these challenges.”

Here’s a list of the high-yield bonds and loans “of concern” to Fitch Ratings:

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