Steve & Barry's Heads to Chapter 11

Deep-discount fashion retailer can't find rescue funding
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jul 9, 2008 7:51 AM CDT
Steven Shore, the co-CEO of Steve & Barry's clothing store, watches a crowd of shoppers in the store in New York.    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Dress-down discount clothing retailer Steve & Barry’s, which launched its first store nearly a quarter-century ago, could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as early as today after a fruitless search for rescue financing, reports the Wall Street Journal. The trendy retailer could close all of its 275 outlets, many of which are cavernous anchor stores in financially-squeezed malls.

The company, which employs some 17,000, has struggled as consumers have closed their wallets and increasing fuel prices have cut into the retailer’s already thin margins. Adding to the distress are high licensing fees for products like actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s exclusive Steve & Barry’s clothing line.