The Retail Bloodbath Continues as Vitamin World, Toys R Us and Bon-Ton Stores ready for Bankruptcy

Sunday, September 10, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Thomas Dishaw
September 09, 2017

The collapse of retail is accelerating. Over the span of the last week, three more iconic companies have reportedly hired bankruptcy advisors in an effort to stay alive.

Toys R Us, the most notable of the bunch with 1,694 stores worldwide, has $5.2 billion in debt, and a negative equity of $1.3 Billion. They also have a massive $400 million debt payment coming due in 2018.

Toys R Us, which was once considered the King of toy stores has seen sales and traffic to their stores decline sharply over the years. This is mostly due to the increase of consumers choosing to do their shopping online (Amazon), as well as increased competition from Target, and Walmart.

Vitamin World who operates 345 stores, mostly in the overpriced retail mall space has also seen better days. In 2015 Vitamin World’s sales decreased 11% to a miserable 208.1 million dollars. Six years ago the company operated 443 stores.

Even if they can miraculously pull off a comeback, Vitamin Worlds days are numbered. Aside from competition from usual suspects like Amazon, there has also been an abundance of new competitors like Infowars Life and the Health Ranger who are willing to put out better products at a much lower price.

Bon-Ton which operates of a majority of their 260 department stores in the dying mall arena under the names of Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers is sinking fast. According to reports the company is faced with $900 million in debt and reported a net loss of $33.2 million during the second quarter.

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