US retail bankruptcies hit 6-year high in 2017: Report

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Bankruptcies among U.S. retailers reached a six-year high in 2017 amid declining foot traffic and the rise of e-commerce giants like Amazon.

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Some 50 retailers filed for bankruptcy this year, including one-time giants like Toys R Us, RadioShack and Payless. That’s the highest number of bankruptcies since 2011, when 59 companies filed for the protection, according to data from S&P Global.

Mall-based stores and so-called “big-box” stores have been most affected by the retail crisis. Big-box stores like Macy’s and Sears accounted for 43%, or about 43 million square feet of shuttered U.S. retail space in 2017, Axios reported, citing data from real estate research firm CoStar.

Of the 50 retail bankruptcies, some 21 occurred at major retailers. Other companies to file include Wet Seal, Hhgregg, Rue21, Gymboree, True Religion and Vitamin World.

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Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have struggled to maintain sales amid a decline in in-store traffic. Meanwhile, sales on e-commerce platforms are booming. In November, Cyber Monday produced the highest single-day online sales figure in history, with roughly $6.59 billion in revenue, according to Adobe Analytics.

Aside from the bankruptcies, many venerable brands have also shuttered some of their stores or laid off employees to cut costs in a tough marketplace. A full list of store closures in 2017 can be found here.

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