Special Report

American Brands That Might Not Survive the Coronavirus

Source: 6381380 / Getty Images

16. Chesapeake
> Industry: Energy

The global oil industry has been devastated by a historic plummet in oil prices stemming from a lack of demand during the global shutdown and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. In April, the price of West Texas Intermediate oil futures set for May fell below zero for the first time. A number of smaller oil operations are at risk of going under, and even larger energy companies are at risk.

Reuters reported on April 30 that Chesapeake Energy, a shale gas drilling company that was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the fracking boom in the United States, is preparing to file for bankruptcy.

17. Norwegian Cruise Line
> Industry: Cruise

Norwegian Cruise Line, headquartered in Miami, said in a May 5 filing there was “substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue” as a result of COVID-19. The cruise industry has taken a beating since the Grand Princess cruise ship became one of the earliest major outbreaks among Americans in late February.

Before that incident, Norwegian Cruise Line stock traded at more than $50 per share. As of May 8, the stock was trading below $13 per share. All U.S. cruises were hit with a no-sail order, and Norwegian suspended all voyages through the end of June.

Source: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

18. Dave & Buster’s
> Industry: Restaurant

Unlike many other businesses that offer food, Dave & Buster’s relies on customers coming inside and paying for arcade games. Games and other amusements account for almost 60% of the restaurant and entertainment company’s revenue. Even when locations begin to reopen, customers may be hesitant to come back and use games that others have touched.

Dave & Buster’s in April furloughed over 15,000 employees and did not pay rent. As of May 8, the company’s stock price was less than a quarter of its share price of $46 in mid-February. To help bolster its financials, the company announced an agreement to sell $100 million in stock to Jefferies LLC.

19. Party City
> Industry: Retail

With in-person events canceled nationwide, Party City’s potential earnings have virtually evaporated. Since the pandemic hit, the company’s stock price has hovered between 50 and 60 cents per share, down from nearly $3 per share in late February. The party-supplies manufacturer and retailer furloughed 90% of in-store workers and 70% of manufacturing and corporate employees. As of early May, all retail locations remained closed, and there is no word as to when they would reopen, though some locations are offering curbside pickup.

20. Modell’s Sporting Goods
> Industry: Sporting goods

While many of the companies listed here are hoping to survive the coronavirus crisis, Modell’s Sporting Goods is already gone for good. After more than a century in business, the sporting goods retailer announced in March it filed for bankruptcy and would close all stores. Ironically, the pandemic may actually keep Modell’s open longer, as the company said it halted its liquidation amid the closure of nonessential businesses. It is now seeking to postpone its bankruptcy through the end of May.

It could be difficult for Modell’s to sell merchandise if pro and amateur leagues are still not operating. Complicating matters, Modell’s only operates in the Northeast, where communities have been especially hard-hit by coronavirus.

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