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15 famous public companies struggling to survive

Stacker Logo By Frederick Reese of Stacker | Slide 1 of 16: On Aug. 29, 2019, the clothing retailer  Forever 21 announced it would consider bankruptcy in order to restructure its debt burden. Like many mall-based stores, the company is suffering from a collapse in mall attendance. Bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean that a business is on the verge of collapse, but it does mean there are critical flaws in the company’s financial or managerial structure. While bankruptcies like that of Twinkies maker Hostess in 2011 can help bring the company into solvency and financial stability, others serve as the harbinger of a company’s fate.

Many companies use bankruptcy as a means of debt reduction rather than an opportunity to correct the processes that led to the debt in the first place. One example of this is Filene’s Basement. A purveyor of high-end discount or off-price clothing, the company was severely rocked by the Great Recession which forced the closing of 11 of its 36 stores. The company sought three Chapter 11 bankruptcies within 12 years before it finally collapsed.

Stacker took a close look at the various public companies that have recently announced bankruptcies in order to curate the following gallery of 15 companies struggling to survive. To make the cut, companies had to still be in operation and forced to undergo structural changes due to current finances. This may include store closings, changes in product listings, or public announcements of change. Thie gallery further focuses on retail and food service companies, as these businesses typically have the largest public presence and therefore the most sentimental weight for its consumers. More than 100 million ears were pierced at Claire's, many for the first time; and Toys "R" Us transformed a toy industry worth $500 million in 1950 into a $12 billion enterprise by 1990.

When these companies go away, so do parts of our collective past. But companies must find a way to adapt to changing times if they intend to stay relevant. Keep reading to see which of your favorite companies made the list.

You may also like: Ranking the reputation of the 100 most visible companies in America

These well-known names are facing rough times

On Aug. 29, the clothing retailer Forever 21 announced it would consider bankruptcy in order to restructure its debt burden. Like many mall-based stores, the company is suffering from a collapse in mall attendance. Bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean that a business is on the verge of collapse, but it does mean there are critical flaws in the company’s financial or managerial structure. While bankruptcies like that of Twinkies maker Hostess in 2011 can help bring the company into solvency and financial stability, others serve as the harbinger of a company’s fate.

Many companies use bankruptcy as a means of debt reduction rather than an opportunity to correct the processes that led to the debt in the first place. One example of this is Filene’s Basement. A purveyor of high-end discount or off-price clothing, the company was severely rocked by the Great Recession which forced the closing of 11 of its 36 stores. The company sought three Chapter 11 bankruptcies within 12 years before it finally collapsed.

Stacker took a close look at the various public companies that have recently announced bankruptcies in order to curate the following gallery of 15 companies struggling to survive. To make the cut, companies had to still be in operation and forced to undergo structural changes due to current finances. This may include store closings, changes in product listings, or public announcements of change. Thie gallery further focuses on retail and food service companies, as these businesses typically have the largest public presence and therefore the most sentimental weight for its consumers. More than 100 million ears were pierced at Claire's, many for the first time; and Toys "R" Us transformed a toy industry worth $500 million in 1950 into a $12 billion enterprise by 1990.

When these companies go away, so do parts of our collective past. But companies must find a way to adapt to changing times if they intend to stay relevant. Click ahead to see which of your favorite companies made the list.

You may also like: Ranking the reputation of the 100 most visible companies in America

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