A Risky Bet By America’s Mall Owners: Plucking Retailers Out Of Bankruptcy To Salvage A Pandemic-Hit Industry

Dozens of retailers, some of them the lifeblood of America’s shopping malls, have been pushed to the brink and filed for bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic. Apparel brands like J.Crew, Brooks Brothers and New York & Co. parent company RTW Retailwinds. Department store chains Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney and Stage Stores. The health chain GNC. The kitchen supplies company Sur la Table. The list goes on. And there are more coming. Now, it’s some of America’s biggest mall owners that are increasingly looking to do deals to salvage them. In many instances, as it plays out, these bankrupt retailers are major tenants in malls, with sprawling store counts. Meanwhile, some of the biggest retail real estate owners in the country, like Simon Property Group, are sitting on cash. A lot of it. On June 29, in an investor update, Simon said it had roughly $8.5 billion of liquidity on its balance sheet, including about $3.5 billion of cash on hand. It issued another $2 billion in senior secured notes on July 7. Read more at CNBC.