These stores are open for business today, but tomorrow we might find another business has taken its place. Or, worse. A glaringly vacant lease-space littered with the former shop’s lingering mess might greet us instead. It’s no joke, a whopping 4,810 stores have already been slated for closure this year.
2018 was a brutal year for retail businesses. Twenty-seventeen wasn’t much better. This year could be worse. If sales don’t pick up in 2019, the 2018 Retail Apocalypse could implode with dire ramifications. It could decimate some of our best shopping options, at least temporarily. As it is, so far this year, some of our most recognized mall shops, such as Z Gallerie, Charlotte Russe, and Gymboree have all filed the infamous Chapter 11 lawsuit. And, according to Coresight Research, as of March, 1,674 stores have already closed this year alone! The culprit for all this carnage can be summed up with one four-letter word: Debt.
Rockport is yet another retail chain that declared bankruptcy in 2018. Do not fear. Uber-comfy Rockport shoes will still exist. “We do not expect the availability of Rockport shoes to be affected anywhere in the marketplace,” according to the company. Rockport has gone through its share of owners, starting with British sneaker company, Reebok. The original 1971 founder and owner of Rockport, the Katz family, sold it to Reebok in 1986. It was later passed off to the German athletic shoe group, Adidas, along with parent company, Reebok. And, in 2015, Adidas handed New Balance and Berkshire Partners the Rockport brand. There it became the Rockport Group.
Next, the dreaded private equity group acquisition. In 2017, Crescent Capital Group acquired the Rockport Group from Berkshire. This was followed by the requisite bankruptcy a year later. The Rockport Group filed with $287 million in debt. Charlesbank Capital Partners, another private equity firm, purchased it out of bankruptcy in May of 2018 for $150 million. The responsibility of Rockport retail and e-commerce business’ seamless continuation is now under Charlesbank’s guidance. Out of the rubble, all 60 of Rockport brick-and-mortar locations have gone by the wayside.