WeWork’s bankruptcy caught a lot of attention from commercial real estate, for obvious reason. But there’s more going on with other companies. The country is coming off a big major corporate bankruptcy wave and some big retailers are feeling the financial pinch.

To put everything into context at the start, last year was, by the measure of bankruptcies, a hard one for business. WeWork in CRE, obviously, but 2023 was the worst year for corporate bankruptcies — 642 in total filings — since 2010’s 827, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Even with the expectations of Federal Reserve rate cuts eventually this year, “companies will still have to contend with relatively high interest rates and robust wage growth in the near term.” And there are signs that consumers may scale back their spending.

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Erik Sherman

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