AlixPartners retail bankruptcy study: why so many retailers liquidate—and how to improve the odds

October 2017
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Since 2006, almost half of all retailers that have filed for bankruptcy have ultimately liquidated. But there are viable restructuring alternatives that can preserve significant value. In many cases, acting early, strategically, and decisively can make all the difference.

At a glance

  • Distressed retailers need the longest runway possible to achieve an out-of-court turnaround or a successful bankruptcy.
  • If an out-of-court turnaround is a real possibility, then a strategy based on store closures, marketing optimization, and merchandising transformation may be the right one.
  • An understanding of viable capital-market options is essential to any sound plan.
  • Despite its complications, the bankruptcy process offers valuable tools for retail turnarounds—like the right to reject store leases.

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Kent Percy

Director, New York

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Deb Rieger-Paganis

Managing Director, New York