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Retail Briefs

Orla Kiely Line to Debut at Target

Placemats and aprons will be among the first soft home items in British designer Orla Kiely's exclusive at Target, to launch Feb. 1, spanning housewares to table linens and kitchen textiles. Goods will be priced from $2.49 for a small tumbler through $21.99 for a tablecloth, Target said. "The Orla Kiely for Target collection combines fun and function with products that are adorable and available for a great price," said Gina Sprenger, svp merchandising, Target, who also termed the line "energetic and bright."

Sears Extends Layaway All Year

Based on the warm reception to its holiday layaway program, Sears will continue the payment option year-round. "The feedback from shoppers was incredible," said Don Hamblen, chief marketing officer. With layaway, consumers can reserve merchandise, pay in installments and pick up the items within 90 days.

Filene's Basement Shrinks Chain

Off-price chain Filene's Basement has begun final closeout sales at 11 of its 36 locations. "While we have worked with our landlords to look for solutions such as fair rent reductions we have not found sufficient relief to avoid taking steps toward certain store closings," said spokeswoman Mariellen Burns. The stores affected: Orland Park and Schaumburg, Ill.; Columbia, Hunt Valley and Towson, Md.; Framingham, Mass.; Mercer, N.J.; Levittown, N.Y.; Pittsburgh and Springfield, Pa.; and Tyson's Corner, Va.

Stein Mart Cuts Staff, Costs

Cost-cutting picked up steam at struggling off-price chain Stein Mart, which will eliminate 178 store-based and 31 field and corporate jobs. Also on tap: reduced workforce hours, a 5% salary cut for management, suspended matching contributions to associates' 401(k) and related plans. "These decisions, while difficult, underscore our philosophy to be fiscally conservative in a volatile economic climate," said David Stovall Jr., president and ceo.

Gottschalks in Ch. 11 with $125M DIP

Western regional department store chain Gottschalks received $125 million debtor-in-possession financing from a GE Capital group as it filed Chapter 11 on Jan. 13. Gottschalks will continue operations as it seeks a buyer "or other transaction with a third-party investor." The DIP is to carry the chain "through the reorganization process." A deal for Gottschalks to be acquired by sourcing and export house Everbright Development Overseas Securities collapsed on Dec. 18.

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