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Steve & Barry’s Contemplates Closings

BY CSA STAFF

Port Washington, N.Y. Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear may close an estimated 100 stores, roughly 40% of its 245-store portfolio. According to a report posted online by The Wall Street Journal, store closings may be the prelude to bankruptcy and full liquidation.

The struggling retailer is seeking $40 million in emergency funding, the WSJ article reported, and has a tentative agreement for $20 million from private-investment firm Angelo, Gordon & Co. However, an additional $20 million, reportedly enough to carry Steve & Barry’s through the holiday season, has yet to be raised.

According to The Chicago Sun Times, Sears chairman Edward S. Lampert has been approached as a possible investor and the Wall Street Journal cited a number of other potential retail investors including Wal-Mart Stores and Gap, Inc.

Steve & Barry’s aggressive growth strategy has propelled the company from 195 stores and estimated sales of $700 million in 2006 to estimated sales in excess of $1 billion in 2007.

The company’s trademark formula, super-size stores with super-low prices and celebrity-branded partnerships, found favor with landlords looking to fill empty anchor spaces. However, despite its ability to sign lucrative leasing deals, Steve & Barry’s has not been able to achieve profitable operations.

Speculation in the industry is that Steve & Barry’s may survive as a wholesaler, providing private-label merchandise to other retailers.

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Survey: Businesses want to go green, but afraid of costs

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. According to a survey of 2,500 business professionals by Office Depot, half of all respondents are interested in making their offices “greener.”

While 50% of those surveyed said they’d like to have a greener office, more than half (55%) said they did not associate going green with saving money.

According to Yalmaz Siddiqui, director of environmental strategy for Office Depot, There is actually a range of cost scenarios that a business could face when deciding to go green, he explained. Some choices, like remanufactured cartridges, cost less; some require an upfront investment but come with long term cost savings, like compact fluorescent lights; some products entail no price difference; and some green ideas do cost more. The trick is to understand the different options and not assume that going green will always result in higher costs.

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Toys ‘R’ Us to be exclusive retailer of ‘Soul Bubbles’ Nintendo DS game

BY CSA STAFF

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. Toys “R” Us will be the exclusive retailer of Soul Bubbles, a new game for Nintendo DS created by Eidos Interactive.

“Creative and refreshing, Soul Bubbles is a unique game that DS owners won’t want to miss,” said Robert Lindsey, evp of sales and marketing for Eidos Inc. “This is a charming story combined with gameplay that pushes the capabilities of the Nintendo DS is sure to engage all puzzle gaming fans.”

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