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Report: Linens ‘n Things Plans Bankruptcy Exit

BY CSA STAFF

Clifton, N.J. Linens ’n Things has devised a plan to emerge from bankruptcy early next year, according to the New York Post.

Under the plan, the company will reverse many of the strategies introduced after the company was bought for $1.3 billion in 2005 by billionaire Leon Black’s buyout firm Apollo Management, the newspaper reported.

Current management, under the direction of turnaround advisory firm Conway, Del Genio, Gries & Co., plans to return Linens ‘n Things to an “everyday, low price” model it had pursued during its earlier years as a public company, sources told the newspaper. The chain reportedly will focus on improving the quality of its merchandise and keeping shelves stocked in timely fashion.

Linens ‘n Things filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, hurt by a slowdown in discretionary spending in the face of higher energy and food prices.

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JCPenney reports 2Q loss

BY CSA STAFF

PLANO, Texas JCPenney reported earnings per share from continuing operations of 52 cents for the second quarter ended Aug. 2, compared to 78 cents in last year’s second quarter. Net income for the quarter decreased 35.7% to $117 million.

“In this difficult consumer environment, we have continued to focus on tightly controlling all aspects of our business, and our second quarter results show the benefits of our approach. Our ability to protect our bottom line through rigorous expense control and effective inventory management was enhanced by good initial customer response to our new brand launches and the effectiveness of our promotional pricing actions,” said Myron Ullman, chairman and ceo of JCPenney.

For the third quarter, the company is expecting comparable-store sales decrease in the mid-single digits. Earnings per share are expected to be between 70 cents and 75 cents.

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Washington state grocers to offer wine/beer tastings

BY CSA STAFF

OLYMPIA, Washington The Washington State Liquor Control Board has launched a yearlong pilot program that will allow wine and beer tasting in 30 grocery stores in the state. Participating stores, which include seven Safeway and five Fred Meyer/QFC stores, will be permitted to hold 12 tastings on premises during the period between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30, 2009.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board said it will document the findings, including comments and complaints about the pilot and then submit a report to the state legislature on Dec. 1, 2009.

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