empty mall and stores

Major Mall REIT Files for Bankruptcy

After one of the toughest years for retail, a major mall owner has filed for bankruptcy.

Washington Post Group (WPG), a major retail real estate investment trust (REIT), reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week.

WPG holds over 100 malls and shopping centers in its portfolio. Over the past few years, malls have notably struggled to operate as online retail threatens the future and viability of physical retail stores. WPG is the third major mall REIT that has filed for bankruptcy in the past year, marking a likely trend for mall owners moving forward.

Retail Armageddon

Many major anchor stores such as J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, and others have each filed for bankruptcy in the past year. Other major retailers such as Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and others have struggled to compete with large online retailers.

Consequently, mall owners are struggling with vacancies and reduced foot traffic at their properties. This has led Washington Post Group to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which essentially allows the company to restructure and “reorganize” its affairs to find a way to move forward and continue to do business.

WPG’s struggles are not new: according to financial statements, revenues have steadily decreased in the past several years. Financial statements indicate that its struggles have begun well before the pandemic brought a halt to brick-and-mortar retail. The company reported $843.5M in revenue but only reported $524.5M in revenue in 2020. WPG reported net income of $67M in 2016, but lost nearly $220 million in 2020.

Investigation

Based on recent bankruptcy news, poor financial performance, and other notable factors, Vernon Litigation Group is conducting an investigation into Washington Post Group (WPG) to determine investors’ rights.

If you are an investor in Washington Post Group, call us to discuss your rights at 239-319-4434 for a confidential, no-cost consultation. Our experienced financial attorneys are ready to protect and preserve your rights.

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