> Industry: Real estate
The new social distancing requirements, which might remain in place for some time, could spell the end for co-working spaces — particularly WeWork. The company’s occupancy dropped by nearly two-thirds in April. WeWork stopped paying its rent that month and is reportedly renegotiating its leases.
The company came into 2020 already in disarray. In September 2019, co-founder and former CEO Adam Neumann stepped down after reports of his chaotic management style surfaced and a planned IPO was scrapped. Neumann sued WeWork’s new owner, SoftBank, after it announced it would no longer purchase stock from Neumann and others.
7. J. Crew
> Industry: Clothing
Weeks after closing its doors on March 16, J. Crew filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company also said it reached an agreement with its lenders to convert more than $1.6 billion of the company’s debt into equity. J. Crew also secured a $400 million loan, though it may be increasingly difficult for the company to pay it back as its credit rating has been downgraded twice by credit rating agency Moody’s during the pandemic. The company was planning an IPO for its Madewell brand in early 2020 to help ease the debt burden, but those plans are on hold indefinitely.
8. Frontier Communications
> Industry: Communication services
Telecommunications company Frontier Communications entered the pandemic in a dire situation, with a debt burden of more than $17 billion. The telecom provider also carries a credit rating of SD (selective default), meaning credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s believes Frontier selectively defaulted on a financial obligation.
In an attempt to lessen its debt, Frontier declared bankruptcy in April and sold its operations and assets in four northwest U.S. states. Frontier’s stock has been in decline for years, and was worth less than 8 cents per share as of May 8.
9. Bed Bath & Beyond
> Industry: Retail
Though some of Bed Bath & Beyond’s products, like soaps and toiletries, may have been in high demand since the pandemic hit the U.S., many other of the company’s products have likely not sold that well. The company struggled ahead of the pandemic as well. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, which ended February 29, 2020, sales dropped more than 6%.
As of May 8, stores remained closed, and most Bed Bath & Beyond workers have been furloughed since early April. Bed Bath & Beyond stock, which ended 2019 worth more than $17 per share, fell to under $4 per share in April and was worth less than $6 per share as of early May.
> Industry: Car Rental
With nonessential travel all but canceled, car rental company Hertz is struggling with a lack of income. The company was reportedly considering bankruptcy to restructure an estimated $17 billion in debt, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Hertz reached an agreement with its lenders that would give it until May 22 to “develop a financing strategy and structure that better reflects the economic impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” the company said in a filing. Hertz announced a plan cut nearly 10,000 jobs in April, but the company still failed to make some lease payments that month.
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