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Here’s Who Went Bankrupt in 2015

Rivet's 2020 Denim Circularity report takes a deep dive into how the global denim industry is plotting its circular future amidst a worldwide pandemic.

surfer wipeout

Increased competition, slowing footfall and a failure to keep up with trends are just a few of the snags blamed for downward-spiraling sales that led to a lot of once-hot retailers declaring bankruptcy this year.

Quiksilver
Following months of speculation surrounding buyouts, SoCal-based lifestyle brand Quiksilver filed for Chapter 11 for its U.S. operations in a Delaware bankruptcy court in September.

The surfwear maker, which owns Roxy and DC in addition to its namesake brand, lost more than 79 percent of its market value in 2015 but said in a statement that the move did not include its European and Asia-Pacific businesses, which remain strong.

In connection with the filing, Quiksilver said it intended to close 27 U.S. stores, including 16 Quiksilvers, one Roxy shop and seven DC Shoes locations. According to the latest rumors, the brand may merge with arch rival Billabong at some point in the future.

American Apparel
Considering that American Apparel hasn’t turned a profit since 2009—and has been inundated with lawsuits by its founder and ousted CEO Dov Charney since he was fired in December 2014—no one was surprised when the struggling clothier filed for bankruptcy protection in October.

The company said in a statement that its retail stores (both stateside and overseas), wholesale and U.S. manufacturing operations would continue to operate as normal under a restructuring deal reached with 95 percent of its secured lenders that’s expected to be completed by early 2016.

Since the announcement, American Apparel has quietly been closing some of its 136 U.S. stores, including a number of New York locations.

City Sports
After 32 years in business, Boston-based athletic retailer City Sports filed for Chapter 11 in October. The company said it had entered into an agreement with liquidators Tiger Capital Group to close eight of its 26 stores. In relation to the remaining locations, City Sports said it was working to find a buyer that would continue operations or shut them down.

Karmaloop
Less than two months after Karmaloop filed for Chapter 11, a federal bankruptcy court judge approved its $13 million sale to a group of senior lenders and founder and CEO Greg Selkoe—who started the business in his parents’ basement in 2000—was removed from his role.

After a series of failed offshoots, including subscription service Monark Box, members-only Boylston Trading Company and women’s line Miss KL, the company had racked up $40 million in debt. Karmaloop.com will continue to operate in the U.S. and Europe, as well as its off-price members-only PLNDR division and the marketplace Kazbah.

Wet Seal
One week after announcing plans to close 388 of its stores and lay off 3,695 full- and part-time employees, troubled teen retailer Wet Seal—a one-time $600 million company—filed for Chapter 11 in January.

Frederick’s of Hollywood
In April, risqué lingerie retailer Frederick’s of Hollywood filed for bankruptcy for the second time since 2000 after shuttering all of its brick-and-mortar stores and reaching a $22.5 million deal to sell its operations to Authentic Brands Group. According to the filing, the company had roughly $36.5 million in assets and $106 million in debt.

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