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Item Description – A little over six months after the first confirmed case of coronavirus was reported in the U.S., more businesses join the growing wave of bankruptcy filings. While not unexpected, it’s still hitting communities hard as shops close down and jobs are lost.Lord & Taylor and Tailored Brands have both submitted petitions for Chapter 11. This development comes after many other well-known retailers have begun reorganization, including Neiman Marcus, Brooks Brothers, and J.C. Penney.America’s Oldest Retailers Are Not ImmuneThe economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 shutdowns affects everyone – even longstanding businesses. Lord & Taylor ranks among the oldest retailers in the United States. The company was founded by Samuel Lord in 1824. Lord established a dry goods shop in New York that sold cashmere shawls, hosiery, and misses’ clothing.His wife’s cousin George Washington Taylor joined him a decade later, adding the last half of the store’s iconic name. The business expanded to a second location in 1859.Lord & Taylor president Dorothy Shaver became the first woman to hold the role in a major retail operation in the U.S. in 1945. The company aggressively expanded into Michigan, Illinois, and Texas in the 70s with 11 new stores opened in South Florida in the early 80s.NRDC Equity Partners, LLC. Purchased Lord & Taylor in 2006 for $1.2 billion. They later purchased the three-century-old Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and positioned Lord & Taylor under it. Walmart started carrying the brand in May of 2018, around the time that HBC announced that 10 stores would be closing due to declining sales.Lord & Taylor was sold to the French company Le Tote, Inc. in 2019 for $75 million at closing plus another $25 million two years later.As current events have played out, the retailer experienced financial hardship. COVID-19 closed stores while some locations were looted during riots following the death of George Floyd.In May, Lord & Taylor announced that they would liquidate all locations once they could safely reopen. Shoppers were shocked to find that several stores already had liquidation sales in place as of August 2nd.Tailored Brands Looks for a SolutionTailored Brands is the parent company behind popular brands JoS A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse. The Fremont, California-based operation was founded in 1973 under the Men’s Wearhouse name.Even those who have never shopped there likely recognize the brand. Founder George Zimmer first appeared in commercials in 1985. Most people remember his famous line, “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.”Men’s Wearhouse emphasized the customer service experience with its wardrobe consultants. It positioned itself as “more than just a suit store,” according to the official website. The retailer also sells denim and other casual garments.In 2013, Men’s Wearhouse faced controversy after firing then-executive chairman Zimmer. Zimmer was presented as power-hungry as he pushed to sell the company to private investors.“Mr. Zimmer had difficulty accepting the fact that Men’s Wearhouse is a public company with an independent board of directors and that he has not been the chief executive officer for two years,” the board explained in response.Customers shared their outrage on social media. Zimmer still held stock in Men’s Wearhouse as of 2015. That year, their stock plummeted 30% after ending a buy one suit get three free deal that was created after it was acquired by JoS. A. Bank.Men’s Wearhouse hasn’t been around as long as Lord & Taylor, but the company and Tailored Brands are both still recognizable and known in retail.Bankruptcy Filings Continue in the Retail IndustryLord & Taylor announced that it had filed for bankruptcy in the Eastern Court of Virginia on Sunday. The company was already struggling to rebound after the rise in online shopping draw customers away. The flagship location on Fifth Avenue in New York was sold last year after over 100 years operating within the building.Tailored Brands also announced on Sunday that it filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition in Houston. The company is working through a restructuring plan that is supported by 75% of its senior lenders. This process is expected to reduce debt by $630 million.All brands, including Moore’s Clothing for Men, K&G Fashion Superstore, JoS. A. Bank, and Men’s Wearhouse are going to continue operations. Tailored Brands employs 19,300 people and owns 1,400 stores in Canada and the U.S.As of May, two of the company’s largest investors include Vanguard Group and Scion Asset Management, LLC.Tailored Brands reopened locations in May and included new measures for maximum liquidity, including borrowing $310 million. Executives and employees were given pay reductions and payment terms were extended with landlords, vendors, and suppliers.The company saw a net drop of over 60% in the first quarter of 2020, putting them at $286.7 million. They posted an adjusted profit of $29.7 million.Around 500 stores were listed for potential closures last month, which would cut 20% of Tailored Brands’ corporate positions.The switch to working from home has put additional pressure on retailers who relied on sales from office workers. As more employees stay home, the need for business attire has dropped. As of July 23rd, around 40 retailers have filed for Chapter 11 in 2020. That’s more than the total number of bankruptcies reported all year in 2019. Two dozen of those were filed after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.Check back to learn more about major companies filing bankruptcy as the country tries to recover from the economic crisis.