Was This the Last Christmas for These Struggling Stores?

Parents, you might want to rethink your holiday shopping plans. Toys R Us has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The struggling chain has $400 million in debt due in 2018, and some vendors have been canceling shipments because they’re worried they won’t get paid, Bloomberg reported. The bankruptcy filing (which wouldn’t necessarily involve closing stores) will help the company address its debt problems and make sure there are toys on the shelves during the big end-of-year shopping season, according to CNBC.

The country’s biggest toy store chain isn’t the only retailer on shaky ground. Aerosoles and Vitamin World also filed for bankruptcy in September 2017. And in a challenging retail environment, dozens of other chains are fighting to stay afloat. In early 2017, 14% of retailers were distressed, according to Moody’s, the highest level since the Great Recession.

Here are 15 stores that could find themselves bankrupt by the new year.  

1. Sears

Sears going out of business signs

It’s one of many department stores struggling to stay afloat. | Megan Elliott/The Cheat Sheet

Sears has been circling the drain for years. The chain has closed dozens of stores so far in 2017, and some vendors are reluctant to work with the company because they’re worried they won’t get paid if it goes under, Reuters reported. In March 2017, the company admitted that “substantial doubt exists related to [its] ability to continue as a going concern.”

Next: Sears’ sister store is also in trouble.

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