Abandoned store at mall with ripped paper over doors and ripped out neon sign
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Companies That Have Filed for Bankruptcy Since the Pandemic Began

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Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony by Trondheim Havn (CC BY-SA)

Pandemic Bankruptcies So Far

Retailers were having a tough time even before the pandemic, and a massive number of companies waved the white flag as COVID-19 decimated not just retail, but other parts of the global economy. Here are some of the most prominent companies to file for bankruptcy since mid-March of 2020, including one that threatens to further upend the cruise industry, which is already being rocked by the omicron variant. 

Related: Restaurant Chains We Miss

Cruise liner Crystal Symphony in St. Peter Port harbor.

Genting Hong Kong

You may have never heard of Genting Hong Kong, but you've almost certainly heard of luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises. Genting, which is Crystal Cruises' parent company, has filed for bankruptcy, a move that is forcing Crystal to suspend its sailings. The company has announced that its ocean and expedition voyages will be suspended through at least the end of April, and river cruises through the end of May. What will happen after that remains to be seen: Genting has said that certain parts of its business, which includes two lesser-known cruise lines and a theme park, will remain operational, while others will be shut down. 

Related: 21 Cruise Ship Horror Stories

Sean "P. Diddy" Combs with Sean-Jean Wheels
James Leynse/Getty Images

Sean John

After filing for Chapter 11 in 2021, it seems Sean John will survive after its eponymous founder — Sean Combs, who has also gone by Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, and yes, Sean John — recently regained ownership with a $7.6 million bid. Combs founded the brand in 1998, and it became famous for bringing streetwear and hip-hop fashion into the high-fashion landscape. While it suffered under the umbrella of Global Brands — to which Combs sold it in 2016 and which itself filed for bankruptcy in July — Combs is pledging to bring it back from the brink. 

Related: 18 Celebrity Businesses That Completely Flopped

ABC Carpet & Home
Dave L./Yelp

ABC Carpet & Home

After more than a century of selling high-end home goods, this mainstay of New York City's Flatiron District filed for Chapter 11 in September. The iconic family-owned retailer says the pandemic hit its business hard, driving potential customers out of New York City. ABC was particularly reliant on in-store foot traffic, and its sales were down a staggering 50% in 2021 compared with 2018, according to the New York Post. 

Related: Home Buyers Abandoned These Cities in Droves Last Year

Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines by Ken Fielding (CC BY-SA)
Jessica Simpson Shoe Collection
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images CC

Sequential Brands

Sequential Brands, the owner of labels including Jessica Simpson, Joe's Jeans, And1, and Avia, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Stating that its debt load has made it impossible to operate its portfolio of brands, the company is looking to sell most or all of its assets at auction. Sequential already had a fire sale trying to pay off its debt, selling the brands Ellen Tracy and Caribbean Joe in August for a third of what it paid for them in 2013. 

Related: Celebrities With Brands That Cater to the Common Folk

All Saints Las Vegas
All Saints Las Vegas by FASTILY (CC BY-SA)

Global Brands

Global Brands Group, which filed for Chapter 11 at the end of July, 2021, might not be a familiar name, but there's a chance you know some of the clothing brands the company licenses, such as All Saints, Le Tigre, Capezio and Saga. Also, around 85% of Global Brands' sales come from wholesaling to major companies like Macy's, Costco, T.J. Maxx, Amazon, Nordstrom, Dillard's, Burlington, Bloomingdale's, and Neiman Marcus, according to Retail Dive. When people stopped buying new clothes during the pandemic, the company's sales fell 44%, and supply chain problems further complicated matters.

Related: Starbucks, Chlorine, Lumber, and Other Items in Short Supply

Pacific Theaters
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Pacific Theatres

With pandemic restrictions shuttering movie theaters (and many people still reluctant to sit in an indoor space full of strangers even when they lifted), the pandemic has crushed movie theaters — and some for good. Pacific Theatres and ArcLight Cinemas, which have 16 locations, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy so that the chain's remaining assets can be liquidated for creditors. 

Related: Things We Stopped Taking for Granted During the Pandemic

Closed shopping mall stores
Marcus Lindstrom/istockphoto

Washington Prime Group

The pandemic has been particularly brutal for malls, which were already losing ground to e-commerce before the pandemic. Washington Prime, owner of more than 100 malls across the country, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June, saying COVID-19 made it necessary to restructure. The pandemic led to store closures and rent relief for many mall tenants, both of which eventually caught up to commercial landlords like Washington Prime.

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Alex and Ani storefront in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California

Alex and Ani

This trendy jewelry company, founded in Rhode Island in 2004, grew by leaps and bounds in recent years, opening 100 stores across the country. But it was behind on loan payments by 2019, and COVID-19 forced it to "pause its key strategic growth initiatives," the company acknowledged. Of course, that included temporary store closures in 2020. It ultimately filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June. 

The Lost Cajun
Gerard M./Yelp
Former Old Country Buffet
Former Old Country Buffet by Dwight Burdette (CC BY)

Fresh Acquisitions

Even if you've never heard of Fresh Acquisitions, you've probably heard of one of its brands, especially if you love buffets or steak: The company owns Old Country Buffet, Ryan's, Hometown Buffet, Furr's Fresh Buffet, and Tahoe Joe's Famous Steakhouse. The pandemic forced it into Chapter 11 and closed most of its restaurants, which have dwindled from about 100 to six. The company says it plans to focus on Furr's and Tahoe Joe's after it restructures; whether any of the other brands will survive remains unclear.

Related: These Buffet Chains Have Closed Locations Permanently

Alamo Drafthouse storefront
Rick Kern / Contributor / Getty Images News
Paper Source Storefront
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images CC

Paper Source

The third major stationery chain to declare bankruptcy in a little over a year, Paper Source filed for Chapter 11 in March and closed at least 11 of its nearly 160 stores. The company grew rapidly in recent years, but pandemic-related closures kept stores dark last year during big holidays like Easter and Mother's Day. A rival chain, the Paper Store, filed for bankruptcy over the summer, and mall staple Papyrus liquidated and closed all its stores in early 2020.

Solstice Sunglasses
K T./Yelp

Solstice Sunglasses

This sunglasses chain with close to 65 stores nationwide saw its retail sales cut in half during the pandemic, leading to a Chapter 11 filing in mid-February. The company specializes in designer brands like Gucci, Prada, and Versace. It's unclear whether any stores will close as part of the reorganization.

J. Michael Jones/istockphoto


One of the South's most prominent department-store chains, Belk joined several of its struggling competitors with a Chapter 11 filing in January. The company quickly shed $450 million in debt and kept stores open while it restructured. It cut several corporate jobs in 2020, after temporary pandemic-related closings affected at least half of its roughly 300 locations.

Related: 50 Events That Made Retail History Before the Pandemic

J. Michael Jones/istockphoto


Germophobes steered clear of buffets even before the pandemic, making the struggles of restaurants such as Cici's one of the least surprising impacts of COVID-19. The all-you-can-eat pizza chain, which has nearly 320 locations across the country, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of January and said the company will be sold to its main creditor, D&G Investors. 

Sundry Photography/istockphoto


This high-end beauty brand's U.S. division filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of January, citing crushing rent obligations in light of COVID-19's drag on sales. The chain has 166 stores across the country and says it will close 23 of the least profitable locations.

Christopher & Banks
Jed M./Yelp

Christopher & Banks

This women's clothing chain filed for bankruptcy in mid-January, saying it's likely to close "a significant portion, if not all" of its 449 stores, most of which are in malls across the country. Executives said COVID-19 is to blame for a huge drop in sales. The company is looking to sell its e-commerce business, but in-store liquidation sales are likely to begin soon.

Related: How to Shop Going-Out-of-Business Sales

Punch Bowl Social
Russell A./Yelp

Punch Bowl Social

This buzzy chain aimed to entertain patrons, not just feed them, with everything from mini golf, bowling, and shuffleboard to accompany a made-from-scratch menu. Unsurprisingly, the "eatertainment" company has struggled since the pandemic pushed dine-in business off a cliff, and it filed for Chapter 11 just a few days before Christmas. 

Laura A./Yelp


This apparel chain aimed at young women sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2020, and has said it will close about 240 of its 700 stores. Like many mall-based retailers, it had already been trying to boost sagging sales before the pandemic forced many of its stores to shut down temporarily, and foot traffic continued to lag even after they reopened.

Guitar Center

Guitar Center

This strip-mall staple for musicians of all stripes, the biggest seller of instruments in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late November 2020 after a tumultuous year. Pandemic-related store closings and increasing competition from other online instrument sellers put the chain in a cash crunch, analysts say. While Guitar Center tried to stop the bleeding with online music lessons, that wasn't enough to combat falling sales.

Related: Where to Find Online Classes for Kids Home From School

 Norwegian Air

Norwegian Air

Norwegian Air was already struggling before the pandemic, and several of its subsidiaries had already filed for bankruptcy. But it joined them officially in November 2020, filing for what amounted to a Chapter 11 equivalent in Ireland, and then the same in Norway in December. The low-fare carrier said it would operate normally while trying to restructure. After six months, the airline emerged from bankruptcy in late May, announcing it had nearly wiped out its debt with 6 billion Norwegian crowns (about $716 million) in fresh capital and plans to revamp itself as a regional carrier with a leaner fleet of planes.

Friendly's by Mike Mozart (CC BY)


Best known for its tempting menu of Fribble milkshakes and kid-friendly sundaes, Friendly's filed for bankruptcy in November 2020, its second filing in a decade. The chain of family restaurants last filed in 2011, shrinking from more than 400 restaurants at that time to 130 locations today. The company blamed COVID-19 for crushing its primarily dine-in business, but said most of its restaurants will remain open.

Related: Beloved Restaurants and Bars That Closed Permanently Amid the Pandemic

You Don't Mind the Mall

CBL Properties

Many mall-based retailers went bankrupt in 2020, so it makes sense that their landlords would start to follow. CBL Properties, one of the nation's most prominent mall owners, filed for Chapter 11 in early November, on the heels of tenants including JCPenney and Ascena Retail Group, owner of Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant. CBL owns more than 100 properties in 26 states, but said it expects malls to continue to operate normally while it restructures. 

Related: 10 Creative Abandoned Mall Makeovers

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Even the strong-performing fast-casual restaurant segment has struggled because of the pandemic. Rubio's Coastal Grill, a 170-restaurant chain based in California, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2020, saying COVID-19 made bouncing back from already-slumping sales impossible. The company has more than $80 million in debt and has closed more than two dozen restaurants. 

Studio Movie Grill
James H./Yelp

Studio Movie Grill

Dinner and a movie are the classic night out — except, of course, during a global pandemic. Studio Movie Grill, a restaurant and theater chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2020 and drained almost all its cash reserves. Although the company was among the fastest-growing in the theater business just two years ago, the pandemic led to a three-month closing, and its footprint has since dwindled from 33 restaurants to 19

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday

Like many casual dining chains, Ruby Tuesday was fighting for survival against fast-casual upstarts long before the pandemic. But COVID-19 made it nearly impossible to stay afloat, and the Tennessee-based company filed for Chapter 11 in October 2020. It finished restructuring and exited bankruptcy earlier this year with 209 locations remaining, a significant drop from the 451 restaurants it had at the end of 2019.

Will Q./Yelp

Sizzler USA

Yes, Sizzler is still around, and the pandemic isn't making it any easier for this throwback of a steakhouse chain to hold on. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2020, citing a huge decline in dine-in business and trouble negotiating rent relief with its landlords. It has closed six restaurants permanently. There are more than 100 locations, but most are franchise-owned and will be unaffected by the filing.

New York Sports Clubs
Gary L./Yelp

Town Sports International

A parent company of prominent East Coast gyms including New York Sports Club and Town Sports International says COVID-19 closings caused a substantial drop in revenue. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2020 and reported that many of its more than 200 locations were still closed. Town Sports' other chains include Washington Sports Club, Philadelphia Sports Club, Boston Sports Club, and Lucille Roberts. 

Related: 14 Industries That Have Been Hit Hardest by the Pandemic

Century 21

Century 21

Iconic New York-area discounter Century 21 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2020 and closed all of its 13 stores, blaming the collapse on insurers' refusal to pay for "losses it has suffered" related to COVID-19. The company says insurance money helped it survive the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, but insurers have mostly said their policies don't cover pandemic-related losses. Still, a comeback may be in the cards: A new store is opening in South Korea, and the chain says it is planning to re-open in the U.S. soon.

Lord & Taylor
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Lord & Taylor

Lord & Taylor, the nation's oldest department store, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2020 and decided to pull the plug on all its stores, a reversal from a decision to keep at least some locations open. Liquidation sales at all 38 stores officially ended the chain's storied 194-year run. 

Related: 18 Iconic Department Stores We Miss

stein mart
Ron L./Yelp

Stein Mart

Discounter Stein Mart was in the process of being sold to a private equity firm when the pandemic hit, disrupting what was supposed to be a turnaround plan. The chain sought government aid to stay afloat, but filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2020 citing "significant financial distress" caused by both COVID-19 and customers' changing buying habits. All of its 300 stores have closed.  

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia

Airlines were one of the first industries to feel the pain of the pandemic. Virgin Atlantic joined the fray in August 2020, filing for Chapter 15 bankruptcy as it worked to firm up a bailout aided by the British government. Its sister airline, Virgin Australia, had already filed for bankruptcy in April after the Australian government decided against a massive bailout. Delta owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic.

Related: Which Airlines Are Taking the Most COVID-19 Precautions?

Men's Wearhouse

Tailored Brands

Tailored, which owns Men's Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, and K&G brands, filed for Chapter 11 in August 2020. The company, hit hard by a major drop in demand for business attire and formalwear amid the pandemic, had bankruptcy advisers for weeks before the filings. It's also closing up to 500 stores permanently.

California Pizza Kitchen
Brett J./Yelp

California Pizza Kitchen

This casual dining chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020, when most of its 200 locations were several months behind on rent payments. A staple at malls and shopping centers across the country, California Pizza Kitchen emerged from Chapter 11 at the end of November. It's now owned by many of its former creditors. 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America


Though gun sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic, that didn't save Remington, one of America's oldest gun makers, from declaring bankruptcy in July 2020. Remington first filed for Chapter 11 in 2018, and talks to strike an ownership deal with the Navajo Nation faltered. The company struggled to keep up with debt payments and faced major lawsuits connected with the shooting of elementary school children in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in 2012.

Ann Taylor Loft
Rob Crandall/shutterstock

Ascena Retail Group

Best known for mall staples Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lane Bryant, Ascena filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020. The company planned to close 1,600 of its 2,800 stores, including most of its Justice tween clothing stores and all of its Catherine's plus-size clothing stores. In 2019, Ascena closed all of its Dressbarn stores and has struggled with falling store foot traffic.

Briggs & Stratton
Home Depot

Briggs & Stratton

One of the nation's most prominent producers of gas engines declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020. The Wisconsin-based company was in trouble before the pandemic, its sales crunched by profit-hungry big-box retailers and the near-total failure of Sears, which sold Briggs & Stratton-powered Craftsman tools and lawn equipment.

Paper Store
Mariejoy T./Yelp

Paper Store

This Northeastern chain selling stationery, ornaments, and other giftable items filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020, blaming pandemic-related store shutdowns. It kept its doors open during restructuring, emerging from bankruptcy in September with the help of a group of strategic investors. 

New York & Company
Andrea S./Yelp

New York & Co.

RTW Retailwinds, the parent company of women's fashion retailer New York & Co., filed for bankruptcy in July 2020 after losing millions and defaulting on payments to landlords and vendors in the wake of COVID-19 closings. The company has shut down all of its nearly 380 stores, and sold its ecommerce business to Sunrise Brands. 



Like many retailers, this Japanese home-goods chain with locations around the world saw its stores closed temporarily because of the pandemic. But its U.S. stores, clustered mostly in New York and California, have been struggling to turn a profit for several years. The chain said it would refocus on its online business and close "a small number" of stores while in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which it declared in July 2020.

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers has long been on uncertain footing as employers have relaxed formal dress codes, lessening demand for its pricey suits. The chain noted for its menswear filed for bankruptcy in July 2020 and halted manufacturing at three U.S. factories. It was bought by Simon Property Group and Authentic Brands in September, and it will continue with about 125 stores, down from more than 400 in pre-pandemic times.

Sur La Table Storefront
Sur La Table Storefront by Ajay Suresh (CC BY)

Sur La Table

This specialty cookware retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020 and was sold for close to $90 million. The buyers have kept at least 50 of the chain's 120 stores open. The pandemic forced Sur La Table to not only shutter most stores but cancel its in-store cooking classes, a cornerstone of the brand.

Lucky Brand
Goran Bogicevic/shutterstock

Lucky Brand

Lucky Brand, known for its denim and bohemian-inspired apparel, filed for bankruptcy in July 2020. Like many well-known mall retailers, Lucky Brand had been struggling with slumping sales over the past decade as would-be buyers started turning to ecommerce instead. It closed 13 stores and found a buyer in Simon Property Group and Authentic Brands.

Aeromexico Check In Counter


Mexican airline Aeromexico announced in July 2020 that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States as a result of the "unprecedented challenges" the airline industry is facing. It has continued to operate and moved ahead with plans to add flights during restructuring.



NPC International

The largest operator of iconic fast-food brands Pizza Hut and Wendy's had been on shaky footing since the beginning of 2020, with a debt burden approaching $1 billion. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, and a potential sale of its restaurants to Flynn Restaurant Group is tied up in court

Cirque du Soleil
William B. Plowman / Stringer / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images North America / Getty Images CC

Cirque du Soleil

The legendary producer of mind-bending acrobatics shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere announced in June 2020 that it had filed for bankruptcy and would lay off about 3,500 people. Cirque du Soleil attributed the moves to challenges brought about by the pandemic. The company emerged from bankruptcy in November thanks to a bid by some of its creditors.

Chuck E. Cheese's

Chuck E. Cheese

The parent company of this iconic kids' pizza chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2020 even as many of its 550 locations reopened across the country. The CEO called COVID-19 "the most challenging event in our company's history," and the company eventually announced that it would permanently shutter close to three dozen locations. Chuck E. Cheese got the go-ahead to exit bankruptcy near the end of the year, its debt slashed by nearly a half-billion. 

Related: 12 Places That Kids Love But Parents Hate

In Trouble: GNC


The inescapable vitamin retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2020, blaming a pandemic-related sales slump and mounting debt, and saying it could close more than 1,200 of its 7,300 stores. The company was bought by its largest shareholder, Chinese company Harbin Pharmaceutical Group, in September. 

24 Hour Fitness

24 Hour Fitness

The national fitness chain joined Gold's Gym in pandemic-related bankruptcy with a Chapter 11 filing in June 2020. The company said its money troubles were a direct result of COVID-19 closings and announced that about 100 of its 400 locations would be shut down permanently during reorganization. After eradicating $1.2 billion of funded debt, the company emerged from bankruptcy on Dec. 30 with a new board of directors and a leaner financial strategy.   

Tuesday Morning
G C./Yelp

Tuesday Morning

This Dallas-based discount home-goods chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2020, saying it was the only way to bounce back from two months of pandemic-related store closings. Part of the reorganization: The company said it would close 230 of its 700 stores.

LATAM Airlines

LATAM Airlines

Latin America's largest carrier filed for Chapter 11 protection in May 2020. Unlike chief competitor Avianca, it was on solid financial footing before most flights were grounded, according to Reuters.

Pier 1 Imports
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes

While most major companies restructure in bankruptcy, the parent company of prominent buffet chains Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes opted to close all locations for good. Garden Fresh Restaurants filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May 2020, saying federal regulations forbidding self-service in restaurants made salvaging the business too difficult.

J. Crew

J. Crew

Preppy-apparel stalwart J. Crew has been in trouble for years, a victim of lower mall foot traffic and the shift to online shopping even as its Madewell brand found a following. It filed for Chapter 11 protection in May 2020, but experts say that probably would have happened regardless of the pandemic. The chain exited bankruptcy in September with a new majority owner, investment firm Anchorage Capital Group. 

Gold's Gym
David Tran/istockphoto
Neiman Marcus
Ken Wolter/shutterstock

Neiman Marcus

Department stores have long been struggling to adapt to a world increasingly dependent on ecommerce, and the "unprecedented disruption" caused by COVID-19 forced the hand of debt-saddled luxury chain Neiman Marcus. It filed for Chapter 11 protection in May 2020 and stayed open during reorganization, emerging from bankruptcy in September with a debt load reduced by a whopping $4 billion.  



This prominent Latin American airline filed for Chapter 11 protection in May 2020, blaming "the unforeseeable impact" of the pandemic on business. The company cited travel lockdowns, but analysts said the airline was already in trouble from negative credit ratings and sudden leadership changes.

Goody's Store
Wikimedia Commons

Stage Stores

This parent company of well-known chains including Bealls, Goody's, and Palais Royal sought Chapter 11 protection in May 2020, a move being discussed before the pandemic. Although it initially sought a buyer, Stage was eventually forced to liquidate its more than 700 stores.

Editors' Note: A previous version of this story included an image of a store owned by Florida-based Bealls Inc., which is not affiliated with Stage Stores. We regret the error.

Hits Keep Coming


This footwear retailer announced in May 2020 that it had filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the United States and was seeking similar relief in Canada, where it is based, and Switzerland. While it said it had faced challenges before the pandemic, COVID-19 "put too much pressure on our business and our cash flows."

Related: 25 Canadian Stores That Americans Love 

Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications

While most communications businesses were well-positioned to survive and even thrive during the pandemic, Frontier Communications filed for Chapter 11 in April 2020, admitting it had been slow to upgrade its network, especially as customers expect faster internet speeds. The company pledged to maintain service while restructuring.

SpeedCast International

SpeedCast International

Satellite communications company SpeedCast International, the company likely responsible for the internet connection on your last cruise, filed for bankruptcy in April 2020  after sustaining a one-two punch. Cruises were halted because of the pandemic, and its other major customer, the oil industry, struggled as oil prices bottomed out.

Related: 1 in 4 Avid Cruise Goers: 'I'll Never Go on a Cruise Again'

True Religion
designs by Jack/shutterstock

True Religion

Denim giant True Religion filed for bankruptcy in April 2020, its second time restructuring in three years. The company called out COVID-19 for compounding its money crunch and said Chapter 11 would help it stay in business once stores could reopen. True Religion exited Chapter 11 in October with about 50 stores, down from close to 90.

Dean & DeLuca

Dean & DeLuca

Long a shell of its former self, gourmet grocer Dean & DeLuca filed for bankruptcy at the end of March 2020. The grocer, bought by a Thai company in 2014, closed its last remaining store in October 2019 and reported that it had one remaining employee and more than a half-million dollars in liabilities. Still, it hopes to restructure and eventually reopen stores in New York City.