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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On September 16, 2019, it was reported, The Crypton Companies, a supplier of performance textile technologies in the contract, home furnishings and apparel markets, has entered into a formal agreement to acquire the operations of Abercrombie Textiles, a North Carolina-based textile mill. The two companies share a long working relationship and a common customer base. "This acquisition will add a key vertical platform to our business that will help Crypton continue to grow and better serve the needs of our expanding customer base," said Lance Keziah, CEO of Crypton LLC. Crypton indicated it is immediately infusing capital into the company and will also be expanding Abercrombie into new markets. Keziah will oversee the company and has tapped industry veteran, Ernest Benbassat, as executive vice president of operations. Former Abercrombie owner John Regan will remain with the company providing continuity, knowledge and sales leadership. Abercrombie has been working with Crypton for 17 years as a licensed mill partner. Under Crypton, Abercrombie Textiles will continue to manufacture dobby and jacquard fabrics for a variety of applications, including upholstery, bedding, wallcovering, cubicles and drapery for commercial, residential and transportation end markets. Crypton is introducing a new residential collection at the November 2019 Showtime market that will include a mix of solids, textures and jacquards.
    • On September 12, 2019, it was reported, Forever 21 has plans to file for bankruptcy, potentially as soon as Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported citing anonymous sources. However, the retailer told the newspaper, as well as USA Today and other media, that it was not planning to file on Sunday, describing the report as "inaccurate" and saying it planned to continue operating the "vast majority" of its stores. News and analysis service Debtwire reported earlier in September that Forever 21 was working with claims agent Prime Clerk in preparation of a bankruptcy and was in talks with lenders about debtor-in-possession financing.
    • On September 10, 2019, it was reported, in a bid to boost sales, J.C. Penney said that it plans to launch an outdoor shop, selling apparel and other excursion gear, in 100 of its roughly 830 department stores next month. The company also announced the launch of an in-house brand called St. John's Bay Outdoor, which will be in 600 Penney's stores and online beginning Sept. 12. It will include woven shirts, jackets, vests, waterproof pants and other gear for men transitioning from exploring the outdoors to "a night out in style," according to the company. Michelle Wlazlo, chief merchant at Penney, said the department store chain is leaning into this category as "America spends more time outdoors." "With this expansion, [Penney] is taking part in the nearly $900 billion outdoor recreation industry by offering functional, durable apparel with our customer expectations at the core, all at an incredible value," she said in a statement. Prices for the St. John's Bay Outdoor line will range from $11.99 to $44.99. This new strategy from Penney comes as the embattled department store chain is struggling to boost sales, which fell 7% in the latest quarter. Fewer shoppers are seeking out department stores at the mall to buy clothing, shoes and home goods. Penney has also struggled to select the right assortment of inventory.
    • On September 10, 2019, it was reported, Dollar General's retail footprint is getting closer to encompassing all 50 states. The discounter announced that it is currently building new stores in Washington and Wyoming. When completed, these stores will expand Dollar General's presence to 46 states throughout the country. Stores are currently under construction in Centralia, Washington (Lewis County); Cathlamet, Washington (Wahkiakum County) and Pine Bluffs, Wyoming (Laramie County). The locations are scheduled to celebrate grand openings in early fiscal year 2020. Dollar General operated 15,836 stores in 44 states as of August 2, 2019.