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Trending Stores: Eloquii, The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Arlington, Va.

BY CSA STAFF
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Online plus-size fast-fashion retailer Eloquii is testing its first physical location, a pop-up shop in the Washington, D.C. area.

The 2,600-sq.-ft. store, at The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, offers a range of apparel and accessories in a contemporary-looking space marked by bleached oak and black metal frame displays. In a nod to the brand’s online roots, tablets are located throughout the store, allowing customers to browse the retailer’s full collection on its website. Digital signs display customers’ Instagram images of themselves wearing Eloquii. Customers can also reserve styling appointments.

Eloquii was launched in 2011 by The Limited, but was shut down a year-and-half later as part of a company restructuring. With the help of former employees and an investor, the brand relaunched as an independent, vertically-integrated e-commerce business specializing in fast-fashion in sizes 14 to 28.

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Merger talks between luxury department store companies hit a snag

BY CSA STAFF

Is Neiman Marcus about to be involved in a lawsuit as opposed to a merger?

Merger discussions between Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue have hit a roadblock as Neiman Marcus faces a possible lawsuit from its term loan lenders and bondholders, reported The New York Post. The lawsuit involves Neiman Marcus’ decision to move three of its stores into a subsidiary that protects them from creditors in the event of a bankruptcy, according to the report. The stores in question are located in San Antonio and Longview, Texas, and McLean, Virginia.

“Neiman Marcus made moves that they thought were legal, but the lenders could seek a court ruling finding that Neiman breached its contract,” said Jude Gorman, general counsel at Reorg Research, which focuses on distressed debt, in the Post report.

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Report: Children’s clothing retailer to reorganize

BY Marianne Wilson

Gymboree Corp. is planning a significant reduction in its store fleet.

The retailer is looking to close hundreds of stores part of a restructuring under bankruptcy court protection, The Wall Street Journal reported. The final number of stores, however, has yet to be determined.

Citing unnamed sources, the report said Gymboree was likely to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the coming week. The retailer is struggling with declining sales, and reported a 5% decrease in same-store sales for its most recent (second) quarter. It has posted losses for the last several years amid increased competition from online and discounters.

Gymboree also has a heavy debt load resulting from Bain Capital’s leveraged buyout of the company back in 2010. According to the report, Gymboree has a $1.04 billion debt that will mature in 12 to 22 months, of which $871.9 million is due in under a year. In March, the company warned it was short on cash and stated it was in talks with lenders to refinance at least a portion of its debt to sustain liquidity.

As of January 28, 2017, Gymboree operated a total of 1,291 retail stores, with 586 namesake stores (536 in the United States, 49 in Canada and one in Puerto Rico), 174 Gymboree Outlet stores (173 in the United States and 1 in Puerto Rico), 149 Janie and Jack shops (148 in the United States and 1 in Puerto Rico), and 382 Crazy stores in the United States.

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