While Fitch Ratings expects continued debt restructurings and potential bankruptcies for challenged retailers in 2018, it also said those who filed for bankruptcy this year leaned more toward a liquidation of operations.In a report titled Fitch 2018 Outlook: U.S. Retail and Restaurants, sector leverage is expect to continue to rise, mostly due to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization declines for operators from sales declines and investments in omnichannel models.David Silverman, senior director, said, “Fitch expects changing shopping habits to continue to drive corporate strategy around price positioning, omnichannel investments and real estate portfolio analysis. The gulf between market share gainers and donors is expected to widen.”Fitch said ideas to watch out for in 2018 include strategic initiatives by Amazon.com, and retail real estate rationalization, particularly at regional malls. Continued debt restructurings and potential bankruptcies for challenged retailers are also situations to keep tabs on.A separate Fitch case study on retail bankruptcies in 2017 noted that nearly half of the bankruptcies filed this year — 18 of 39 — ended as liquidations. Of the balance, 13 were reorganized as independent chains and eight were sold as going concerns to new owners.According to the study, Fitch expected additional sector defaults due to substantial pressure facing the retail sector. In the summer, the ratings agency disclosed its Primary Bonds and Loans of Concern lists, which included a number of retailers.Among the retailers on the Loans of Concern list include Nine West Holdings Inc., David’s Bridal Inc., NYDJ Apparel LLC and Charming Charlie LLC.NYDJ and Charming Charlie were also on the watch list of Moody’s Investors Service, a competing ratings agency. Moody’s in February also cited accessories retailer Claire’s Stores Inc. as having weak liquidity.Of the five retailers called out for their debt levels, Nine West shuttered its remaining full-price store at Rockefeller Center in May. Charming Charlie — the chain best known for its concept of merchandising its offerings by color — is in the process of closing its New York flagship on 39th Street and Fifth Avenue. A store associate said the Charming Charlie store would close by the end of this month. She also said the chain is closing a number of other stores. Fixtures such as three-drawer chests are being sold for $100 each, and signage about other fixtures up for sale state that Hilco Trading is handling the sale of inventory.Reports in the past week have suggested that a bankruptcy filing for Charming Charlie might be on the horizon if talks with lenders about its debt restructuring can’t be agreed upon. Executives at Charming Charlie did not return a request for comment.
In honor of Rihanna’s 30th birthday, we took a look back at an interview with the Barbados-native when she was just 18 years old. Here, she talked about her second album, “A Girl Like Me” in 2006. “I want to be me. I want people to fall in love with who Rihanna is, and that’s why I want the album to be about me so people can really find out who this girl Rihanna is, because they only know the ‘Pon de Replay’ girl.” Fast forward 12 years, and she’s released six more albums and has become a powerhouse in both the fashion and music industries. Happy birthday, @badgalriri 🎈(📷: Pavel Antonov) #wwdarchive
For @simonerocha_‘s fall show, hairstylist @jamespecis created a look inspired by the painter John Constable. Models’ hair was pulled back, tied into knots and topped off with a bow. (📷: @kukukuba) #wwdbeauty #lfw
Queen Elizabeth made a surprise appearance at @richardquinn1's London Fashion Week show to present the designer with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. The new award will be handed out annually to an emerging British fashion designer who shows exceptional talent, while demonstrating value to the community and sustainable policies. #wwdfashion #lfw (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)