Scratch the surface of recent retail sales gains, and you’ll find thousands of shuttered stores and billions in distressed debt underneath.
It seems like a contradiction: Retail sales rose a healthy 5.6
percent in January over the year-ago period, but the industry is
convulsing with store closures, bankruptcies and liquidations by major
chains — topped off by levels of distressed debt not seen since the
Great Recession.. . . more