Retail Bankruptcies: Key Issues for Debtors, Landlords and Vendors

Assumption and Rejection of Leases; Treatment of Gift Cards, Consignment Rights and Going out of Business Sales

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Thursday, June 15, 2017
Recorded event now available


This CLE webinar will provide bankruptcy and other counsel with the tools to navigate common issues that arise during retail bankruptcy cases. The panel will discuss assumption and rejection of leases, gift cards, vendor rights, going out of business sales, and other issues particular to retail bankruptcies.

Description

National and regional retailers are filing for bankruptcy protection at the highest rate since the recent recession, with at least nine filings in the first quarter of 2017. According to Moody’s rating agency, another 19 store chains face possible bankruptcy by year end. This reflects a continuing decline in brick and mortar retail, due in part to a consumer shift to online shopping.

A troubled retailer must carefully consider the issues it may face should it determine to file for bankruptcy. For example, the retailer has just 210 days to decide which leases to accept or reject, and lenders often require retail debtors to propose a reorganization plan within 90 to 120 days after filing or face liquidation of the business. Moreover, the retailer must decide whether to continue to honor gift cards and other customer incentives post-petition. Consignment arrangements--where a vendor has delivered goods to a buyer/consignee but retains title to those goods pending sale to a third party--must also be considered. Additionally, vendors may assert that their claims are entitled to priority under section 503(b)(9) of the Bankruptcy Code.

Finally, the "going out of business" (GOB) sale is a frequently used mechanism in retail bankruptcies to maximize the value of inventory located at a retailer's unprofitable locations. GOB sales, however, are subject to various restrictions, both in and outside of bankruptcy, that are essential for a retailer to understand before utilizing this strategy.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses the difficulty of navigating a retailer through a bankruptcy proceeding in the current retail climate.

Outline

  1. The recent surge in retail bankruptcies
  2. Assumption and rejection of Leases—treatment of rent pre- and post-petition
  3. Gift cards
  4. Vendors—consignment, stay relief and other issues
  5. Inventory—going out of business sales

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is the procedure and timing for assuming or rejecting leases in bankruptcy?
  • What steps may vendors take to protect their rights to consigned goods?
  • What are some of the constraints on GOB sales, and how are they resolved in bankruptcy?

Faculty

Felice R. Yudkin, Member
Cole Schotz, Hackensack, N.J.

Ms. Yudkin is a member in the firm’s Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Department. She counsels Chapter 11 debtors, unsecured creditors’ committees, secured and unsecured creditors, commercial landlords and other parties-in-interest in complex Chapter 11 reorganizations, workouts, creditors’ rights, avoidance actions and other bankruptcy-related litigation.

George M. Cheever, Of Counsel
K&L Gates, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Mr. Cheever represents debtors, lenders, trade suppliers, landlords, and other creditors, purchasers of assets of bankrupt businesses, and creditor and equity security holder committees. He handles preference and avoidance litigation, the purchase and sale of bankruptcy claims, reclamation proceedings, automatic stay litigation, bankruptcy sales, contested plan confirmation hearings, and DIP financing.

Jacob S. Frumkin, Esq.
Cole Schotz, Hackensack, N.J.

Mr. Frumkin is part of his firm’s Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring team. He represents debtors, secured and unsecured creditors and other parties-in-interest in various aspects of bankruptcy proceedings and out-of-court restructurings. 


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Customer Reviews

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McGuireWoods

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Arkin Kaplan Rice

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Bankruptcy Law Advisory Board

Mark N. Berman

Adjunct Professor

Northeastern University

Michael E. Foreman

Partner

ForemanLaw

Matthew Gensburg

Shareholder

Greenberg Traurig

Brian E. Greer

Partner

Dechert

Douglas Lipke

Shareholder

Vedder Price

Victor Milione

Partner

Nixon Peabody

Steven B. Smith

Senior Consultant

JND Corporate Restructuring

Michael Solow

Partner

Kaye Scholer

Robert A. Weber

Counsel

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

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