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Report: Wilsons Leather Raises Possibility of Bankruptcy

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis Wilsons the Leather Experts Inc. raised the possibility of bankruptcy on Monday, according to a report in Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribute.

The company’s independent accounting firm said it has “substantial doubt” about the company’s ability to stay in business, according to an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Wilsons is already closing and liquidating half of its mall-based stores and laying off about 1,000 employees, the report said. It also noted that the company plans to turn the remaining stores into accessory boutiques.

The annual report said that as part of revised credit terms, Wilsons will not be able to borrow from its revolving line of credit until it provides an acceptable business plan and projections to its lender.

Wilsons also was warned a second time that it faces Nasdaq delisting. The retailer said it plans to respond to Nasdaq by the April 30 deadline.

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Linens ‘N Things troubles lead to talks with vendors over supply

BY CSA STAFF

CLIFTON, N.J. Linens ‘N Things said on Friday that while it seeks to restructure its debts, it has formed an ad hoc committee of its major vendors in order to discuss how to ensure an uninterrupted supply of products.

The retailer is in talks with a committee of its debtholders about altering its capital structure and said that similar discussions were under way with the vendors, as well.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the company could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and early last week, Linens ‘N Things reported that it had delayed a $16 million interest payment and that its lenders had agreed to delay exercising their right to stop making loans to the company.

The company claims that its problems have been caused primarily by the credit crunch, housing downturn and consumer spending slowdown in the United States.

Ceo Robert DiNicola said in a statement that the company was evaluating its options and exploring “several alternatives in our efforts to recapitalize the company.”

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Winn-Dixie promotes senior director to vp, Neighborhood Marketing

BY CSA STAFF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Winn-Dixie has announced the promotion of Jim Carrado to vp, Neighborhood Marketing from senior director of Neighborhood Merchandising. He will be responsible for executing strategies centered on Hispanic, urban and affluent clusters and will work closely with all areas of the business, including merchandising, marketing and operations. Carrado will continue to report directly to Dan Portnoy, senior vp and chief merchandising and marketing officer.

In his previous position of senior director, Carrado orchestrated the fixture plan development and product merchandising plans for all remodeled stores. He also developed the company’s new product implementation strategy and created and implemented the clustering process and framework for neighborhood merchandising.

Prior to joining Winn-Dixie in 2003, Carrado worked for Spartan Stores. Before that, he worked at Ralph’s Supermarkets for 14 years and later served as vp of merchandising at Sutton Place Gourmet.

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