Shoe seller Bakers seeks creditor relief

Oct. 4, 2012 at 3:05 PM
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ST. LOUIS, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. shoe seller Bakers Footwear Group is slimming down to about 120 stores by the end of the year, court papers filed in St. Louis said.

The firm, which filed for bankruptcy this week, had already expected to close 20 stores and sell as many as 52 to Aldo, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday.

Plans filed in court call for the closing of an additional 30 to 40 stores.

Court papers say the company has defaulted on a loan due to losses of $11 million and $9.3 million in two consecutive fiscal years.

The company had been granted an extension on the Crystal Financial loan in September. But sales remained sluggish through the month, pushing the lender to threaten to close the firm's line of credit.

The retailer owes about $17.8 million out of a line of credit of $30 million.

Court papers said Bakers owes a total of $59 million and has assets of $42 million. Crystal Financial is the retailer's largest creditor, court papers indicate.

In addition to store closings, the firm has laid off about a third of its white-collar staff at its St. Louis headquarters.

Three top level executives were among those that lost their jobs, the Post-Dispatch said.

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