America’s ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Comes From Bigger Problems Than Amazon

by MR Magazine Staff

In the first three quarters of this year, retailers announced that 6,752 stores would close, as they struggle under crushing debt that even a growing economy and low unemployment can’t overcome. Chains are filing for bankruptcy at an unprecedented rate, but it’s not just because shoppers are turning to Amazon and other online stores. Billions of dollars in outstanding loans are finally starting to come due, and retailers just aren’t equipped to handle it, according to a Bloomberg report analyzing the “retail apocalypse.” Retailers like JCPenney continued to refinance their loans in order to buy themselves more time. This meant that they were struggling, but at least they weren’t bankrupt. Now, it looks like the tides might be about to turn. More debt that stores have racked up will be due over the next eight years. About $100 million of high-yield borrowings are maturing this year, but that amount will turn into $5 billion between 2019 and 2025, according to Bloomberg. Read more at Newsweek.