While there were already a number of high profile retail bankruptcies in 2019, current economic conditions and pandemic-related market challenges have exacerbated an already difficult retail environment, which has led to a significant increase in bankruptcies in 2020.
Continue Reading With Retail Bankruptcies on the Rise, Opportunities for Distressed M&A Increase

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on retailers in an already battered industry. Commencing in mid-March, governors from a majority of states issued executive orders requiring nonessential businesses to close to combat the spread of COVID-19. Retailers who rely on foot traffic to support their businesses felt a swift and severe impact. Retailers who recently had filed bankruptcy under chapter 11 had their reorganization efforts disrupted in unprecedented fashion.
Continue Reading Bankruptcies on Ice: Retailers Obtain Further Extensions of Stay Orders Through the End of May

Innovation and developments in technology bring both opportunities and challenges for retailers, and Hunton Andrews Kurth has a sophisticated understanding of these issues and how they affect retailers. On January 23, 2020, our cross-disciplinary retail team, composed of over 200 lawyers, released our annual Retail Industry Year in Review.
Continue Reading 2019 Retail Industry Year in Review

Recently, in Mission Product Holdings v. Tempnology LLC, the Supreme Court held that a trademark licensee may continue using a licensed trademark after its licensor files for bankruptcy and rejects the relevant license agreement. While a debtor-licensor may “reject” a trademark license agreement under Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code, such rejection is only a breach of the agreement and does not allow the licensor to revoke the licensee’s rights.
Continue Reading In Mission Product Holdings, Supreme Court Decides That Trademark Licensee’s Rights Are Not Revoked by Licensor’s Rejection of a Trademark License in Bankruptcy

Leveraged loans may have a role in recent retail bankruptcies. Leveraged loan volume is nearing pre-recession highs and is on track to surpass 2007 levels, concerning many regulators and investors. Leveraged loans are typically offered to companies that already have large amounts of debt, and therefore, leveraged loans carry higher interest rates due to an increased risk of borrower default. Companies often use leveraged loans to finance mergers, refinance debt or for general company purposes. Private equity firms also utilize leveraged loans in order to fund takeovers of companies, including struggling retailers. Loans issued to fund leveraged buyouts from private equity firms rose 74 percent in 2017 and totaled 88.5 billion dollars. Additionally, nearly a third of loans to companies backed by private equity firms are leveraged six times or more.
Continue Reading Leveraged Loans Raise Bankruptcy Fears

H.H. Gregg, which took over many of the retail spaces previously occupied by Circuit City, is one of many big-box retailers that have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy over the past several years. Like Circuit City, H.H. Gregg was unsuccessful in reorganizing in bankruptcy and is now seeking to recover payments made to vendors and other creditors within 90 days prior to the bankruptcy filing.
Continue Reading Creditors’ Committee in H.H. Gregg Initiates Preference Demands and Litigation Against Creditors

Earlier this month, teen clothing retailer Aeropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, seeking to immediately close 154 of its over 800 stores located throughout the United States and Canada. Many of these stores are located in smaller shopping malls, which have been hit the hardest by the shift to online shopping.
Continue Reading Aeropostale Bankruptcy Highlights Challenges for Retailers Seeking to Reorganize

On August 4, 2014, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) of the US Department of the Treasury issued new guidance outlining sound banking practices related to consumer debt sales to third-party debt buyers. The bulletin sets forth the OCC’s expectations for banks that engage in debt-sale arrangements and applies to all