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Experts Project Retail Will Reach $7B In Defaults Next Year


Even with the holidays approaching, the outlook for retailers is not good.

The retail sector accounts for an estimated 30% of the loan defaults that occurred in 2017 to date, and the expectations for 2018 are not much better. The retail sector is anticipated to produce defaults up to $7B, which will result in a 10% default rate, MarketWatch reports.

A number of factors have accounted for the downturn, including a shift in consumer behavior, a rise in competition with Amazon and an increase in online shopping overall. This has also led to dwindling foot traffic in malls across the U.S., forcing many retailers to shutter their doors following years of poor sales. 

This year saw record bankruptcies, and, by the spring, more retailers had filed for bankruptcy in 2017 than at the height of the 2009 recession.

By the end of 2018, the overall, institutional-leveraged loan default rate is expected to be sitting at 2.5%, or about $27B of debt.

Meanwhile, brands such as Amazon and Walmart have continued their industry takeovers by consistently growing their footprint with acquisitions including Whole Foods in the case of Amazon and Walmart’s most recent deal with Lord & Taylor, a partnership that works to help both retailers stay afloat amid a tepid retail landscape.