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    • On March 15, 2018, it was reported, the next few weeks could determine the ultimate fate of Bon-Ton stores. When the department store retailer filed for Chapter 11 early in February, it had no clear path out of bankruptcy. Or rather, it had a few. The company said after filing that it would try to draw a buyer, while also planning to close more than 40 stores and pursue a reorganization. Meanwhile, the retailer has been flanked in court by a group of bondholders that have been clamoring for asset liquidation to pay off lenders. On Monday, Bon-Ton went to court to establish the rules for an auction of its business and assets. Whether a bid comes one that that satisfies the court and the most powerful among Bon-Ton's stakeholders could determine if Bon-Ton survives as an ongoing concern or is forced into liquidation, like so many bankrupt retailers before it. If that happens, Bon-Ton would be the first department store chain to fully liquidate in years, according to S&P Global. At the hearing, the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware overseeing Bon-Ton's bankruptcy signed off on the proposed process to sell Bon-Ton's business and assets. The plan sets a March 19 deadline to designate a stalking horse bid (an initial bid negotiated by the bankrupt company) and an April 9 date for the auction of Bon-Ton.
    • On March 14, 2018, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal, that Toys "R" Us told employees today that it will sell or close all of its U.S. stores. The company plans to file liquidation papers tonight in advance of tomorrow's bankruptcy court hearing. The closures will affect 33,000 American jobs. In a conference call, Chief Executive Dave Brandon told employees that the company was likely to liquidate in France, Spain, Poland, and Australia. It plans to sell its operations in Canada, Central Europe, and Asia. The company is also trying to package its Canadian business with 200 U.S. stores and find a buyer, the CEO said, according to the report. In January, the company announced plans to close up to 182 Babies "R" Us and Toys "R" Us locations. Last week, the company prepared to liquidate. Earlier today, MGA Entertainment made a bid for the Toys "R" Us Canada operations, a spokesperson for the company confirmed. A group of toy companies MGA is looking into organizing may also perform due diligence on Toys "R" Us in the U.S., according to a report from Bloomberg. On March 09, 2018, multiple news organizations have reported that Toys R Us is preparing to liquidate all of its U.S. stores after it failed to reach an agreement to restructure its business in Chapter 11. A Toys R Us spokesperson said in an email to Retail Dive, "At this time we do not have a comment to share." CNBC, citing unnamed sources, reported on Thursday that the ailing, bankrupt toy seller "may soon liquidate its U.S. operations." But, the news service noted, one of its sources cautioned "that the situation remains fluid." Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reported that the retailer could close all its domestic stores. Bloomberg also reported that the company could shutter its U.S. operations after "failing to find a buyer or reach a debt restructuring deal with lenders." Debtwire also reported Thursday afternoon that the company is considering the sale or liquidation of some domestic entities as the company comes under pressure to liquidate from some lenders. The announcements follow much speculation within and outside the company that it might not survive its Chapter 11 case as a going concern, or at the very least might close far more stores than the 180 initially announced earlier this year. CNBC reported in February that Toys R Us was at risk of breaching a covenant in its bankruptcy loan, which carried the potential to force the business to liquidate.
    • On March 13, 2018, Culp Inc. announced it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Read Window Products Inc., a source for custom window treatments and other products for the hospitality and commercial industries. Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Read Window Products is a turn-key provider of window treatments offering measuring, sourcing, fabrication and installation services. Read Window Products' primary custom product line includes motorization, shades, drapery and shower curtains. In addition, they supply soft goods such as decorative top sheets, coverlets, duvet covers, bed skirts, bolsters and pillows, for leading hospitality brands worldwide. Read Window Products has been in business since 1981, with annual revenues of approximately $11.0 million in 2017. Culp currently expects to fund the acquisition with cash and investments on hand without incurring any additional debt, with closing currently expected to occur at the end of March, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
    • On March 13, 2018, it was reported, Aault and youth case goods specialist Stanley Furniture has named Richard Ledger CEO, marking the first major executive leadership development with the company since it was sold to Churchill Downs Ltd. earlier this month. Ledger has a long history with Stanley, having served as its vice president of operations from 2008 to 2016. He also has served as COO of Vietnam-based case goods manufacturer Starwood Furniture since 2016. Starwood produces case goods for Stanley in a dedicated plant in Vietnam. "I am both honored and excited to be helping lead Stanley through the next chapter of its rich history," Ledger told Furniture Today. "I am committed to developing collaborative and meaningful relationships with our retail partners, ensuring we are listening to what they have to say. I believe our opportunities far outweigh the challenges and I am looking forward to helping restore Stanley as a leading industry resource for well designed, high quality, high value products. Before joining Stanley in 2008, he was country manager of Furniture Brands International from 2005 to 2008. Before that he was a furniture industry consultant in the UK and before that was a production manager of Linea Fina Furniture in the Philippines from 1997 to 2002. In his new role, he reports to Walter A. Blocker, founder of Churchill Downs and the new owner of Stanley Furniture. Blocker also is the chairman and CEO of the Vietnam Trade Alliance in Ho Chi Minh City. Churchill Downs has been renamed Stanley and the holding company is the Vietnam Trade Alliance.