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Loehmann’s files reorganization bankruptcy plan, must seek asset sale

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Loehmann’s Holdings filed a Chapter 11 reorganization plan that includes a stock-rights offering backed by its Dubai-based owner, according to a Friday report by Bloomberg. The plan also includes a requirement that the Loehmann’s seek approval to sell its assets.

The bankrupt apparel retailer will sell $25 million in convertible preferred stock as part of its Chapter 11 plan, according to papers filed Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. A motion to authorize the sale of assets must be filed by mid-January, according to Bloomberg.

New York City-based Loehmann’s filed a Chapter 11 plan on Nov. 15, which was negotiated with Loehmann’s owner Istithmar Retail Investments and a noteholder Whippoorwill Associates.

Istithmar and Whippoorwill both agreed to backstop the stock-rights offering.

Under terms of a $45 million financing agreement with Crystal Financial that will allow the company to exit bankruptcy, Loehmann’s agreed to a series of deadlines for actions including the pursuit of an asset sale. By Jan. 14, Loehmann’s must seek bankruptcy court “authorization to conduct a sale of all or substantially all of their assets, as either a going concern business or through ‘going out of business’ sales,” according to the disclosure statement, which explains the reorganization plan.

Other deadlines in the financing agreement are Feb. 7 for the entry of an order confirming the Chapter 11 plan and Feb. 18 for its effective date, when Loehmann’s would emerge from bankruptcy. If the plan isn’t confirmed, an order authorizing the sale of the assets must be filed by Feb. 23, reported Bloomberg.

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Top 10 ‘Unmissable’ New Stores

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Looking for a hit list of the hottest new stores around the globe? Check out the 10 contenders below. The list comes from the folks behind the cutting-edge, London-based retail consultancy echochamber.com.

Forever 21, Times Square, New York City: This vast, 90,000-sq.ft. store has a sense of quality that is astonishing given its low price-points. The best feature is the exterior: an amazing interactive digital billboard features giant-sized virtual models who take Polaroid pictures of the crowd below.

H&M flagship, Paris: The “push for posh” trend continues to mount, with the opening of another ultra-glamorous fast-fashion designed by yet another signature architect (Jean Nouvel). The three-level store, on the Champs Elysees, is clad in exposed white limestone and has sleek, industrial fixtures. The façade has a matrix of 11 LED screens.

Selfridges, shoe galleries, London:
At 35,000-sq.-ft. with more than 4,000 shoes on display, this is the world’s largest shoe destination. There are six galleries, each with their own unique design.

Kurt Geiger, London: This 4,000-sq.-ft. flagship — a glamorous showcase for the best of Kurt Geiger’s collections — is designed as a jewelry shop for shoes. An amazing shoe chandelier — created from more than 250 shoes — is the star feature.

One New Change, London: An exquisite piece of architectural design, this center is a welcome addition to the City of London, bringing new life to the area at evenings and weekends.

Chin Chin Laboratorists, London:
Ice cream becomes a spectator spot at London’s first Nitro ice cream parlor. Chin Chin sells ice cream made to order and frozen using liquid nitrogen,. The space is a genuine laboratory, with experimental new flavors developed all the time.

The Eye Hub, Melbourne: There is a big emphasis on service, with an endless array of consultation rooms, a simulation room for cyclists to test for wind and glare, and “eyepods” where you can learn all about eyes

Kmart, store of the future, Melbourne:
Similar to H&M Paris, this 64,585-sq.-ft. store reflects the ‘push for posh’ trend, where big-box discounters are driving investment in sophisticated design.

F&H by Fanci, Hong Kong: An innovative new concept by Hong Kong cosmetics retailer Fanci, F&H combines nutrition and beauty into a new total wellness store. The small shop is divided into four areas: Health, Food, Diet, and Beauty, with a consultation zone to the side.

Eataly, New York City: The 50,000-sq.-ft. Eataly has seven eateries and rooftop beer garden with its own microbrewery. It also features a host of shops and service counters, including a ‘vegetable butcher,’ and also a food school.

For photos and more information, click here.

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Big Lots cuts outlook as profit falls

BY CSA STAFF

Columbus, Ohio — Big Lots on Friday posted a lower-than expected quarterly profit, and the company cut its outlook for the crucial holiday quarter, in the face of strong competition and aggressive promotions from rivals.

The chain said profit for the quarter ended Oct. 30 fell 42% to $17.7 million, from $30.3 million a year earlier, when the company’s earnings included a 10-cents-a-share benefit from real estate transactions. Net sales in the latest quarter rose 2% to $1.06 billion as same-store sales rose 0.7%.

"Investments made to open new stores, refresh existing stores, and prepare our business for the all-important holiday season along with softer third-quarter sales results caused our expenses to grow at a faster rate than sales," the company said in a statement.

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