Commercial lenders brace for damage from retail plunge

Mortgage

A litany of bankruptcies among retailers has many lenders on edge as they and others try to predict how much damage it could do to bank earnings — and how soon.

The rise of Amazon and other online commerce sites has reached a tipping point, and many retail competitors have thrown in the towel, especially apparel and general-merchandise stores. Just this year, retailers that have filed for bankruptcy or planned widespread store closings include American Apparel, Bebe Stores, HHGregg, J.C. Penney, The Limited, Payless Shoe Source and Wet Seal.

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