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Another retailer declares bankruptcy

New York, NY - (Crain's New York Business.com) - The winter has turned colder for upscale coat seller Searle. The retailer's parent companies, Tom Jones Inc. and Searle Blatt & Co., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week.

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More Bad News for Retailers, but Maybe Some Deals

New York, NY - (New York Times DealBook) - Retailers in the United States have had a tough 2008 as consumer spending came to a screeching halt. But 2009 isn't looking any better. In fact, most retail experts and economists predict that it will probably be worse.

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Back-Office Layoffs Likely in New Year

New York, NY - (WWD) - Layoffs could be looming in seventh avenue back offices.

Many back-office jobs might be casualties of consolidation. Job consolidation often drives healthy M&A activity and is essential in distressed situations.

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Zombie retailers' debt in the junk bin

New York, NY - (Crain's New York Business.com) - Heart-encrusted bangle bracelets and cheap plastic earrings aren't the only things in the bargain bin at teen retailer Claire's Stores Inc. With the accessories chain's bonds trading at junk level, investors are signaling their belief that the company is in danger of going bankrupt. And Burlington Coat Factory, which specializes in off-price apparel, may not be far behind

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Small M&A Deals Changing Seventh Avenue

New York, NY - (WWD) - Some Seventh Avenue vendors are looking for investors.

Major acquisitions by public companies and private equity firms have slowed to a trickle, but smaller strategic deals are reshaping Seventh Avenue.

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Strategic Buyers Step Up to the Plate; Credit crunch has led to a drying up of private equity money and an opportunity for strategic purchases

New York, NY - (DNR) - The slowing economy has touched every corner of the apparel industry, even how companies are bought and sold.

The private equity concerns that had voraciously snapped up fashion companies in the last few years, lured by the potential for fast growth and high margins, are pulling back, and homegrown apparel companies are stepping in, according to merger and acquisition experts. "The deals these days are far more strategic than financial," said Allan Ellinger, senior managing director of Marketing Management Group, an apparel consultant.

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BALANCE SHEET – Winners and Losers on the Fiscal Battlefield

New York, NY - (DNR) - If money is power, Wall Street, which has always fancied itself as more or less running the world, has been power drunk for years and is now feeling the inevitable effects of the hangover. After the bailouts of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and American Insurance Group, the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, and more than a few harrowing days of near-panic selling, the Street has been forced to seek help from Washington lawmakers. Even as Washington debated a $700 billion bailout to buy up questionable mortgage debt, the Street began to wonder what they'd got themselves into, and fretted over additional and unwanted, if not unwarranted, oversight. Both Washington and Wall Street are to blame for the crisis, as are the average citizens who recklessly took on more debt than they could reasonably manage. How well the politicians and the bankers will fare in fixing the mess they made will most likely remain an open question for some time.

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Gottschalks Gets $30M Investment

New York, NY - (WWD) - Gottschalks Inc. is teaming with Everbright Development Overseas Ltd. — giving the China sourcing specialist an equity stake in return for an initial $30 million investment.

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