Things Remembered, a retailer of engraved gifts and keepsakes, is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection and will shutter most of its roughly 400 stores, people familiar with the matter said last week. The preparations show how a debt restructuring that Things Remembered underwent in 2016 wasn't enough to spare it from the wave of bankruptcies sweeping the brick-and-mortar retail sector. The Highland Heights, Ohio-based company, which employs roughly 2,500 people in the United States and Canada, is hoping to sell its brand and online business during bankruptcy proceedings, an effort that would potentially preserve hundreds of jobs, one of the sources said. Things Remembered is also seeking buyers for some of its stores, according to the sources.
Total Retail's Take: The first month of 2019 has brought with it a fair share of discouraging news for brick-and-mortar retailers. In addition to the well-documented ongoing drama surrounding Sears and its future existence, the following retailers have either filed for bankruptcy, closed stores or done both in January: Signet Jewelers, Shopko, Gymboree. In the case of Things Remembered, a heavy debt load apparently will be the company's undoing. A plan to begin selling the brand's products on Amazon.com's Marketplace, announced last September, was apparently too little too late to turn around Things Remembered's fortunes.