Renown Inc, a well-known Japanese apparel maker, has recently filed for bankruptcy with a staggering debt of 13.9 billion yen ($130 million), making it one of the highest-profile business collapses in Japan caused by the devastating impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The company, which has a rich history of more than a century, is responsible for selling clothing under prestigious brands like Arnold Palmer, Hiroko Koshino, and D’Urban. Unfortunately, Renown’s financial struggles were significantly worsened by the month-long closure of department stores due to the pandemic.

This unfortunate event adds Renown to the growing list of global fashion companies that have fallen victim to the economic repercussions of the pandemic, including prominent names like J. Crew and Neiman Marcus. Renown has been reporting losses for several years now, and it came under the majority ownership of Chinese fashion conglomerate Shandong Ruyi a decade ago. However, the company faced further difficulties when it struggled to collect over 5 billion yen ($45.2 million) in debts from its Chinese parent.

Shandong Ruyi, the parent company, has been facing increasing pressure for refinancing, primarily due to its massive acquisitions of luxury European brands and Asian labels, such as French fashion house SMCP and Aquascutum. As the government implemented measures to encourage consumers to stay at home during the pandemic, Renown’s sales plummeted drastically after March.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in February, more than 140 Japanese companies have been forced to file for bankruptcy. In response to the crisis, the Japanese government, under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s leadership, declared a state of emergency. Although Japan did not impose strict lockdown measures like other countries, the closure of department stores and bars have severely impacted businesses. The government has introduced a stimulus package, providing cash payouts for individuals and loans for small businesses. However, there have been criticisms regarding the slow delivery of the stimulus measures, leaving many struggling companies without immediate relief.

For additional information on Renown’s bankruptcy and the impact of the coronavirus on the fashion industry, you may find the following links useful:

Financial Times: Renown’s Bankruptcy Filing
The Business of Fashion: Fashion Industry Bankruptcies Amid the Pandemic