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Retailer filing rate continues to climb, which is no surprise, but Textile/Apparel companies have gone the other way. But that’s beginning to reverse, and is likely to accelerate…

Here’s an interesting trend… The number of retail bankruptcies has been accelerating steadily since 2005, and is on track to shoot past last year’s 23 major bankruptcies. As of Feb 22, we’re already at a rate in 2009 that is ahead of any year between ’02-’07.

At the same time, Textile and Apparel bankruptcies have slowed to just one year-to-date, and a total of 2 over the past three years. On one hand, you can argue that there are simply not that many left. The domestic textile mills have largely gone under or have gone offshore. But on the flip side, there’s no shortage of Apparel brands that have steadily drawn down cash and built up debt. This number is likely to climb meaningfully throughout the year.

We’ll update you with candidates as we gain conviction on the ‘who’ and the ‘when’.