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Whole Foods Market to meet with key vendors

BY CSA Staff

Whole Foods Market and some of its most important vendors are reportedly at odds.

The grocer will meet with some of the most important brands it sells at a meeting on March 19, reported CNBC. The meeting comes as tensions have been rising as Whole Foods seeks to centralize its merchandising and move from a local orientation to a national one, the report said.

A bit point of debate for Whole Foods’ larger vendors is the proposed new servicing fee, which will charge vendors for the grocer’s efforts to centralize its merchandising, according to the report.

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Recode: Alibaba founders invest $20 million in U.S. retailer

BY CSA Staff

Rent the Runway is flush with a new investment.

Blue Pool Capital, a financial firm that principally invests the wealth of Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, has invested $20 million in the women’s fashion rental business Rent the Runway, Recode reported. The company was founded in 2009 as an online site where women could rent designer dresses for special occasions. It has since expanded its merchandise assortment to include more casual and workwear offerings. It also has added brick-and-mortar locations.

With the new funds, Rent the Runway is valued at a little less than $800 million, the report said.

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Tween/teen accessories retailer reportedly close to filing Chapter 11

BY Marianne Wilson

The chain where countless young girls had their ears pierced is said to be on the edge of filing for bankruptcy.

Clarie’s Stores, burdened with a $2 billion debt load that goes back to its 2007 leveraged buyout by Apollo Global Management, is preparing to file for bankruptcy in the coming weeks, Bloomberg reported. Its load is more than 10 times a key measure of its annual earnings.

As part of a Chapter 11 agreement, control of Claire’s would pass from Apollo to lenders such as Elliott Capital Management and Monarch Alternative Capital, the report said.

In addition to its heavy debt, Claire’s, which operates some 3,000 stores around the world, has been impacted by the slowdown in mall traffic. The retailer has been expanding to new areas, including signing agreements to sell its goods at CVS and Giant Eagle.

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