Retailers, consumers and prices
Dunkin’ Donuts franchise operator Kainos Partners Holding Company LLC became one of the latest companies to file for bankruptcy on Monday.
The company cited customers under extreme financial stress, as well as higher food costs, in its filing. It follows two other Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees who filed for bankruptcy in June.
Another issue at Kainos? The company said it found out that its CFO had engaged in $420,000 worth of financial transactions involving company assets for his personal use. The executive was fired in February.
Seems like times have changed a bit for the company. Kainos Partners received Dunkin Brands Rising Star of the year award for 2006 and Developer of the Year for 2007.
It’s deja vu at Arcandor. Five years ago, the company was still called KarstadtQuelle and it was on the brink of insolvency. It took a dramatic last-minute rescue to save the company. Today, it finally filed for insolvency.
In 2004, the company said part of the problem was that there were not enough customers at its department stores, or at least those that were there were not spending enough. And consumers were not ordering enough goods from its hefty mail-order catalogs, Quelle and Neckermann.
More Americans filed for bankruptcy in May, slammed by job losses and home forclosures, according to the latest data from the American Bankruptcy Institute.
More than 124,800 people sought protection from their creditors in bankruptcy court, up 37 percent from last year.
The U.S. discount clothing retailer, which was acquired last month by an affiliate of the Buxbaum Group, said it has been hurt by the recession’s severe impact on the fashion retail sector.
Specifically, with everyone else forced to cut prices, Filene’s are no longer low enough to attract customers.
Check out General Growth Properties’ long-anticipated bankruptcy filing.
Several retailers have filed for bankruptcy in recent months — now one of their landlords is doing the same.
General Growth is the second largest U.S. mall owner, with a portfolio that includes Faneuil Hall marketplace in Boston and Fashion Show in Las Vegas.
The company has been guaranteed some debtor-in-possession financing from William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management.
The company listed total assets of $29.56 billion and debts of $27.29 billion. Some retailers on its list of creditors include Sephora, which is owed $1.5 million and Borders, which is owed $1.4 million.
Unlike some retailers that have been forced to liquidate while in bankruptcy, General Growth said it is seeking to emerge as quickly as possible from bankruptcy with a reorganization that preserves its national business.
Also in the basket:
Borders to lose directors, scrap reverse split
Jarden sees strong Q1; expects to beat view in ’09
Mom seen taking a hit on Mother’s Day
Video prank at Domino’s taints brand (N.Y. Times)
Fear and greed have sales of guns and ammo shooting up (Wall Street Journal)
(Reuters photo at General Growth’s Glendale Galleria in California)
Check out the latest liquidation sale in the retail world.
U.S. regional department store chain Gottschalks will be liquidated after it failed to attract a buyer willing to operate the company as a going concern, the creditors’ committee said. Going-out-of-business sales at the company’s 58 department stores and three specialty apparel stores in six western states are expected to begin around April 3.
A joint venture of liquidators won the auction for the assets of the Fresno, California-based chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January. The auction is subject to bankruptcy court approval.
The “get your green on” celebration will run through April and highlight the 113-restaurant chain’s new menu and direction.
Check out this development at Ritz Camera Centers.
The largest U.S. specialty camera and imaging chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In some ways, what happened at Ritz is typical of the pressures put on many retailers in this recession. The company said lenders ordered it to boost reserves, which reduced available credit.
Also, the recession caused holiday sales to be “materially lower” than a year earlier.
But the company was also offering a service fewer and fewer consumers needed: photo processing. With more people using digital cameras and “developing” the pictures on their computers, Ritz was coming under more pressure.
“The loss of revenues and profit margins from the diminution in the photo-finishing business proved too much of a burden,” Chief Restructuring Officer Marc Weinsweig said in an affidavit.
Also in the basket:
Toymaker Lego sees rising 2009 sales
Consumer-goods makers heed ‘paycheck cycle’ (WSJ)
Campbell Soup profit falls
PepsiCo scraps changes to Tropicana (N.Y. Times)
Gottschalks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday after a tough holiday season. The company said it would pursue options including the possible sale of the company.
For those of you wondering “Got who?” — Gottschalks is a chain with 61 stores, most of them in California. Gottschalks said it had negotiated $125 million in debtor-in-possession financing from a group of lenders led by GE Capital.
Gottschalks was not alone. Goody’s LLC, a privately held clothing retailer that emerged from bankruptcy in October, filed for Chapter 11 protection again and said it plans to liquidate its remaining 282 stores.
Goody’s said it had investigated a number of alternatives, and ultimately concluded that the best way to maximize value for creditors was to conduct an orderly liquidation.
Gottschalks and Goody’s join KB Toys (shown here), Circuit City and other retailers who have filed for bankruptcy protection recently as consumers cut back on purchases amid the recession.
Also in the basket:
Check Out Circuit City in deal talks.
The bankrupt electronics chain is negotiating with two undisclosed parties that could either buy the company or provide it with additional financing. The company said the parties are considering providing it with financing to allow it to sustain its operations and restructure through a stand-alone plan, and/or buying the company outright.
Naturally, eyes will turn south toward Ricardo Salinas Pliego. The Mexican retail and media tycoon said in November that he owned 28 percent of Circuit City shares and indicated that he might seek control of the chain, which buckled under the pressure of declining consumer spending and increasing competition by the likes of Wal-Mart and Best Buy. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November.