Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Liz gets new credit line — at a price

January 13, 2009

Check out the amendment to Liz Claiborne’s credit facility. USA-HOLIDAYSALES/
The owner of the Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand chains worked out a new credit agreement that will not mature until 2011, replacing a current one that was set to mature in October.
Liz will get less credit — $600 million, down from $750 million — which the company says is appropriate given recent divestitures.
The agreement also comes with higher fees and interest rates, but eliminates some covenants.
The financial markets have closely watched Liz and other retailers to see if they can weather the tight credit markets and for any signs that those markets are loosening up.
The news of the new credit agreement helped boost Liz’s stock more than 12 percent in morning trading.  Investors shrugged off the fact that the company now expects to break even or post a loss for continuing operations in the fourth quarter, rather than the profit of 19 cents to 24 cents per share it previously forecast.
Who needs to make money during the holiday season when your banks will let you extend your credit terms … As long as you can pay the higher prices.
Also in the basket:
Wendy’s scales back breakfast plans
Tesco, Metro show scars of downturn, but coping
Dumpster couture gets a boost at Green Inaugural Ball (WSJ)

(Photo: Reuters)

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