Linens ‘n Things teeters on edge of bankruptcy

Linens ‘n Things, the second-largest housewares retailer in the US, has put itself up for sale in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy.
The beleaguered retail giant was widely predicted to file for bankruptcy protection this week, but has now hired an investment bank to find it a buyer.

Hit by the credit squeeze and tightening consumer spending, increasing number of retailers in the States are filing for bankruptcy protection. However, Linens ‘n Things would be the biggest name yet to do so.

Second only to Bed, Bath & Beyond in the US housewares retail market, it operates over 500 stores in 47 States and has a comprehensive housewares and tabletop offer alongside products for the bathroom and bedroom.

However, last year the company lost $242m on sales of $2.79b, its second consecutive annual loss. On Tuesday, it announced that it had put off making a $16.1m interest payment to its debt holders, and some suppliers have now stopped dealing with the company.

Linens ‘n Things is promoting its real estate as one of the assets likely to appeal to potential buyers, which may be competitors or liquidators.

In a statement, Linens ‘n Things chairman and chief executive Robert J DiNicola said: “We are committed to exploring all reasonable avenues in our effort to strengthen the company and to adopt a financial solution that recognises the inherent value of the Linens ‘n Things business.”

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